Most research studies with long-term Mediterranean and heart-healthy diets have shown improved cognitive function. Some studies of regular exercising have also resulted in improved function. Results of 2 new randomized trials showed surprising results.
In the first, 3741 older adults with mean age of 73 received either 3 supplements thought to help cognitive function or placebo. In 5 years, both groups were the same.
In the second study, 635 sedentary older adults with no cognitive impairment attended home exercise programs of walking and strength training and increased their weekly exercise by over 2 hours. This was compared with a health education-only group. At 2 years, cognitive scores were not different.
Nutritional supplements are not food, and findings do not contradict those of healthy diets. The same caveat applies to some extent for physical activity. The specific components of exercise that enhance cognitive function have not been well defined.
Supplements used were mainly types of omega-3 fatty acids.
See JAMA, August 25, 2015.