Associations between dairy consumption, cerebral blood flow, and cognitive function

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2023-05
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Keleher, Quinn Reiley
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Lefferts, Wesley K
Valentine, Rudy J
Rowling, Matthew J
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Kinesiology
Abstract
The world’s rising number of older adults is likely to increase the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). Prevention is critical to attenuate CVD and ADRD burden and dairy may be efficacious due to associations with vascular and cognitive health. This study examined the associations between dairy consumption, cerebral blood flow, and cognitive function. Greater dairy consumption was hypothesized to be associated with less cerebral pulsatility, greater middle cerebral artery (MCA) mean velocity, and better reaction time and accuracy during cognitive testing indicating better cerebral blood flow and cognitive function. Participants included 28 inactive middle-aged adults (52 ± 7 years) with elevated blood pressure or stage-1 hypertension. MCA pulsatility index, mean velocity, and conductance were assessed via transcranial Doppler. Cognitive function was assessed as attention and working memory, tested via the Erickson Flanker and N-back tasks. Dairy consumption was assessed with one 24-hour dietary recall and food frequency questionnaire. MCA mean velocity had moderate and weak positive relationships with single-day cup equivalents (eq.) of total dairy (p = 0.09) and single-day kilocalories (kcals) of total dairy (p = 0.25). Weak positive associations were seen between single-day cup eq. and kcals of total dairy and MCA conductance and mean arterial pressure (p = 0.30 - 0.63). Associations were not seen with dairy consumption and pulsatility index or cognitive function. So, greater dairy consumption was associated with greater cerebral blood flow but was driven by the effects of dairy consumption on mean arterial pressure. Thus, dairy consumption appeared to have no protective effect on cerebral blood flow or cognitive function.
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