August 23, 2011
Science Daily/Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease. A new study has found evidence that high-salt diets coupled with low physical activity can be detrimental to cognitive health in older adults.
"The results of our study showed that a diet high in sodium, combined with little exercise, was especially detrimental to the cognitive performance of older adults," said Dr. Fiocco. "But the good news is that sedentary older adults showed no cognitive decline over the three years that we followed them if they had low sodium intake."
"These data are especially relevant as we know that munching on high-salt processed snacks when engaged in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing in front of the computer, is a frequent pastime for many adults," said Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior author on the study and internationally-renowned scientist in the field of nutrition and cognitive function in late life.