This article investigated the association between the energy-adjusted dietary inflammatory index (E-DII) and brain volume, small vessel disease, and cognition in people with and without type two diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The authors begin by elaborating on the effects of dementia on life, the lack of clear treatment for it, and how dietary interventions with quality processed foods can reduce or delay the risk of dementia. Previously, the authors did research on the association between dietary patterns and measures of brain atrophy and cerebral small vessel diseases considered biomarkers of dementia. However, it was not clear whether there was a relationship between an inflammatory diet and brain structure.
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The article reveals earlier studies found a relationship between E-DII and cognitive decline and poor memory. However, a gap exists as it is not clear whether E-DII is related to brain structure measures. Thus, the study examined the association between E-DII and brain volume and markers of small vessel disease. Firstly, the study hypothesized that there would be a relationship between E-DII and poor brain health. Secondly, it hypothesized that an association between E-DII and brain structure would be stronger in those with T2DM. The authors formulated the research question: Is an inflammatory diet related to greater small vessel disease, lower small volume, and poor global cognitive function in older adults? And is this relationship related to type two diabetes mellitus?
The study used a comparative technique where 326 respondents with T2DM and 315 without T2DM were sampled. Respondents were drawn from both Australia National Diabetes Services Scheme and the Southern Tasmanian electoral roll. The respondents who did not have random plasma >= 199.8 mg/Dl; and fasting plasma glucose >= 126 mg/dL were classified as not having T2DM. Data was collected using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire for Epidemiological studies. The questionnaire was self-administered, and like previous studies, dietary intakes were standardized. Data were analyzed using STATA, where means and percentages were used to describe the demographics and cognitive variables of E-DII. Regression analysis tests were conducted to determine the association between E-DII and blood markers, E-DII and each brain MRI, and global cognitive function, and E-DII and binary MRI variables.
As displayed in the article, respondents with a more inflammatory diet were mostly men, had a history of stroke and hypertension, were on blood pressure drugs and had higher inflammatory biomarkers than those with a lower inflammatory diet. Besides, those with a higher inflammatory diet had fewer daily steps, lower fasting blood glucose, and were more likely to use cholesterol-lowering drugs than those with a lower inflammatory diet.
Further, results revealed a positive relationship between E-DII and inflammatory biomarkers but no association between E-DII and brain volume, small vessel disease, or global cognitive function. In contradiction with study hypothesis one, there were no relationships between E-DII and gray matter volume or cerebral small vessel disease. As for the second hypothesis, there was one small significant modification effect size for T2DM on the relationship between E-DII and gray matter, but only for those without T2DM. Finally, little evidence of an association between E-DII and brain volumes, cerebral small vessel diseases and cognitive function amongst both respondents with and without T2DM emerged from the article.
Fateme et al. (2021). Association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index, Brain Volumes, Small Vessel Disease and Global Cognitive Function. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 121 (5), 1-13. Web.