Consuming more than 2,000 calories per day significantly increases the risk of memory loss among people age 70 and older, according to a new report from the American Academy of Neurology.
The report released Sunday found the odds of having memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), more than doubled for those who consumed between 2,100 and 6,000 calories per day. Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal memory loss that comes with aging and early Alzheimer’s disease.
“We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of MCI,” said study author Dr. Yonas E. Geda, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 1,233 elderly adults between the ages of 70 and 89 and free of dementia. Of those, 163 had mild cognitive impairment. Participants reported the amount of calories they ate and drank. One-third of the participants consumed between 600 and 1,526 calories per day; one-third consumed between 1,526 and 2,143 calories per day; and one-third consumed between 2,143 and 6,000 calories per day.
Participants in the highest calorie-consuming group were twice as likely to have mild cognitive impairment as those in the lowest calorie-consuming group. Researchers found no significant difference in risk for those in the middle group.