Cut Calories for a Sharper Mind
Study finds that restricted eating leads to better memory in older adults
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 12:19 PM CST
The experimental group got a 30% reduction in total calories, with normal amounts of nutrients. A second group ate more unsaturated fats but kept their total fat consumption constant.   (©cameronparkins)
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(Newser) – It's been shown in rats and monkeys, and now the first human study looking at the effects of calorie restriction on memory also confirms that eating less can improve your brain. A German research team gave 50 older adults a diet with normal nutrients but 30% fewer calories, and found a big spike in memory performance, Scientific American reports.

The restricted-calorie diet also led to a small weight drop, compared to two control groups, as well as lower blood insulin and markers of inflammation. Although the findings are promising, the small number of subjects and problems controlling all the potential variables have caused the authors to prescribe caution. With plenty of follow-ups planned, we'll soon have the skinny on diet and memory.