Cutting calories may do more than just trim your waistline. A new study suggests that cutting calories may boost your memory as well.
“Even though the number of subjects in the study was not really high, they had really high, statistically significant improvements in their performance on the memory test,” says Mark P. Mattson, a senior investigator at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Bethesda, Maryland.
The study included 50 women, all of whom were either normal weight or slightly overweight. Twenty of them were assigned to a group that cut calories, 20 upped their intake of unsaturated fatty acids (which some studies suggest may help aging brains), and the remaining 10 stuck with their normal diet.
What they found were two factors that have been linked to an improvement in brain function: some women became more sensitive to insulin and had a drop in the inflammation-associated molecule C-reactive protein.
If you want to double your chances of improving your memory, exercise. It appears to exert similar effects on brain function.
There have been studies around for a long time that support other benefits to calorie restriction other than losing weight. Research has found clear signs of reduced cardiovascular disease risk, and even slowing the aging process.