Effect of dietary interventions in mild cognitive impairment: a systematic review

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Diet has been investigated in relation to its ability to promote cognitive function. However, evidence is currently limited and has rarely been systematically reviewed, particularly in a mild cognitive impairment (MCI) population. This review examined the effect of diet on cognitive outcomes in MCI patients. A total of five databases were searched to find randomised controlled trial (RCT) studies, with diet as the main focus, in MCI participants. The primary outcome was incident dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and secondary outcomes included cognitive function across different domains using validated neuropsychological tests. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. There was a high degree of heterogeneity relating to the nature of the dietary intervention and cognitive outcomes measured, thus making study comparisons difficult. Supplementation with vitamin E (one study, n 516), Ginkgo biloba (one study, n 482) or Fortasyn Connect (one study, n 311), had no significant effect on progression from MCI to dementia and/or AD. For cognitive function, the findings showed some improvements in performance, particularly in memory, with the most consistent results shown by B vitamins, including folic acid (one study n 266), folic acid alone (one study, n 180), DHA and EPA (two studies, n 36 and n 86), DHA (one study, n 240) and flavonol supplementation (one study, n 90). The findings indicate that dietary factors may have a potential benefit for cognitive function in MCI patients. Further well-designed trials are needed, with standardised and robust measures of cognition to investigate the influence of diet on cognitive status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388
Number of pages1405
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 09 Nov 2018


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