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Article

Self-Reported Diet Quality Differentiates Nutrient Intake, Blood Nutrient Status, Mood, and Cognition: Implications for Identifying Nutritional Neurocognitive Risk Factors in Middle Age

1
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
2
Department of Nursing and Allied Health, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
3
Department of Health Science and Biostatistics, Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2964; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102964
Received: 18 August 2020 / Revised: 22 September 2020 / Accepted: 24 September 2020 / Published: 28 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Evidence for diet quality representing a modifiable risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and mood disturbances has typically come from retrospective, cross-sectional analyses. Here a diet screening tool (DST) was used to categorize healthy middle-aged volunteers (n = 141, 40–65 years) into “optimal” or “sub-optimal” diet groups to investigate cross-sectional associations between diet quality, cognitive function, and mood. The DST distinguished levels of nutrient intake as assessed by Automated Self-Administered 24-h dietary recall and nutrient status, as assessed by blood biomarker measures. Compared with the “sub-optimal” group, the “optimal” diet group showed significantly higher intake of vitamin E (p = 0.007), magnesium (p = 0.001), zinc (p = 0.043) and fiber (p = 0.015), higher circulating levels of vitamin B6 (p = 0.030) and red blood cell folate (p = 0.026) and lower saturated fatty acids (p = 0.012). Regarding psychological outcomes, the “optimal” diet group had significantly better Stroop processing than those with a “sub-optimal” diet (p = 0.013). Regression analysis revealed that higher DST scores were associated with fewer mood disturbances (p = 0.002) and lower perceived stress (p = 0.031), although these differences were not significant when comparing “optimal” versus “sub-optimal” as discrete groups. This study demonstrates the potential of a 20-item diet screen to identify both nutritional and psychological status in an Australian setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet quality; nutritional risk; nutrient intake; nutrient status; cognition; mood; stress; diet screening; middle-aged adults diet quality; nutritional risk; nutrient intake; nutrient status; cognition; mood; stress; diet screening; middle-aged adults
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MDPI and ACS Style

Young, L.M.; Gauci, S.; Scholey, A.; White, D.J.; Lassemillante, A.-C.; Meyer, D.; Pipingas, A. Self-Reported Diet Quality Differentiates Nutrient Intake, Blood Nutrient Status, Mood, and Cognition: Implications for Identifying Nutritional Neurocognitive Risk Factors in Middle Age. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2964. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102964

AMA Style

Young LM, Gauci S, Scholey A, White DJ, Lassemillante A-C, Meyer D, Pipingas A. Self-Reported Diet Quality Differentiates Nutrient Intake, Blood Nutrient Status, Mood, and Cognition: Implications for Identifying Nutritional Neurocognitive Risk Factors in Middle Age. Nutrients. 2020; 12(10):2964. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102964

Chicago/Turabian Style

Young, Lauren M., Sarah Gauci, Andrew Scholey, David J. White, Annie-Claude Lassemillante, Denny Meyer, and Andrew Pipingas. 2020. "Self-Reported Diet Quality Differentiates Nutrient Intake, Blood Nutrient Status, Mood, and Cognition: Implications for Identifying Nutritional Neurocognitive Risk Factors in Middle Age" Nutrients 12, no. 10: 2964. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12102964

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