MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Specific metabolites, including four sugar-related metabolites, are associated with cognitive function, according to a study published online Sept. 16 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Einat Granot-Hershkovitz, Ph.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues tested metabolite-cognitive function associations in 2,222 U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults from the Community Health Study/Study of Latinos and in 1,365 European and 478 African American adults from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses were applied to examine the causal relationships between the metabolites and cognitive function and between the Mediterranean diet and cognitive function.

The researchers found that across all studies, six metabolites were consistently associated with lower global cognitive function. Four of these metabolites were sugar-related (e.g., ribitol). Weak evidence for a potential causal effect of ribitol on cognitive function was seen in MR analyses and for the bidirectional effects of cognitive performance on diet.

“We demonstrated high validity and generalizability of several metabolite associations with global cognitive function across diverse race/ethnicities, specifically metabolites related to sugars,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Metabolon.

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