Certain types of fat effect cognitive function

Certain types of fat effect cognitive function

Different types of fat intake have either a positive or negative effect on cognitive function, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) found that certain types of fat are associated with worse memory and overall cognitive function.

While it has long been known that fat has different effects on the body as a whole, this study shows that 'bad' fats, such as saturated or trans fat, cause poor brain functioning.

However, good fats, such as mono-unsaturated fat, promote cognitive health and memory.

The discovery was made when researchers analysed data from nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older, who took part in the Women's Health Study.

Focusing on a subset of information from 6,000 women, all over the age of 65, it was found that cognitive performance was related to food intake.

Dr Olivia Okereke from the Department of Psychiatry at the BWH explained: "When looking at changes in cognitive function, what we found is that the total amount of fat intake did not really matter, but the type of fat did."

The discovery is important in the fight against dementia and perhaps in improving everyday cognitive performance.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.