Journal Article


Michelle E Kelly
Sabina Brennan
Sara Lavecchia
David G Loughrey



randomized controlled trials systematic review cohort studies working memory older adults this review longitudinal studies meta analysis

Impact of the Mediterranean Diet on the Cognitive Functioning of Healthy Older Adults (2017)

Abstract Evidence from epidemiologic studies suggests a relation between the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and cognitive function, but results are inconsistent. Prior reviews have not provided pooled data from meta-analysis of longitudinal studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs), or they included younger adult participants. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the impact of the MeDi on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults. Fifteen cohort studies with 41,492 participants and 2 RCTs with 309 and 162 participants in intervention and control groups, respectively, were included. The primary outcome of interest was cognitive function, divided into domains of memory and executive function. Meta-analysis of cohort studies revealed a significant association between MeDi and older adults' episodic memory (n = 25,369, r = 0.01, P = 0.03) and global cognition (n = 41,492, r = 0.05, P ≤ 0.001), but not working memory (n = 1487, r = 0.007, P = 0.93) or semantic memory (n = 1487, r = 0.08, P = 0.28). Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that compared with controls, the MeDi improved delayed recall (n = 429, P = 0.01), working memory (n = 566, P = 0.03), and global cognition (n = 429, P = 0.047), but not episodic memory (n = 566, P = 0.15), immediate recall (n = 566, P = 0.17), paired associates (n = 429, P = 0.20), attention (n = 566, P = 0.69), processing speed (n = 566, P = 0.35), or verbal fluency (n = 566, P = 0.12). The strongest evidence suggests a beneficial effect of the MeDi on older adults' global cognition. This article discusses the influence of study design and components of the MeDi on cognitive function and considers possible mechanisms.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Psychology
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published

Full list of authors on original publication

Michelle E Kelly, Sabina Brennan, Sara Lavecchia, David G Loughrey

Experts in our system

Michelle E Kelly
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 51
Sabina Brennan
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 47
David G Loughrey
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 12