A Mediterranean Diet with Fresh, Lean Pork Improves Processing Speed and Mood: Cognitive Findings from the MedPork Randomised Controlled Trial

Alexandra T. Wade, Courtney R. Davis, Kathryn A. Dyer, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Richard J. Woodman, Hannah A.D. Keage, Karen J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Mediterranean diet may be capable of improving cognitive function. However, the red meat restrictions of the diet could impact long-term adherence in Western populations. The current study therefore examined the cognitive effects of a Mediterranean diet with additional red meat. METHODS: A 24-week parallel crossover design compared a Mediterranean diet with 2-3 weekly servings of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) and a low-fat (LF) control diet. Thirty-five participants aged between 45 and 80 years and at risk of cardiovascular disease followed each intervention for 8 weeks, separated by an 8-week washout period. Cognitive function was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Psychological well-being was measured through the SF-36 Health Survey and mood was measured using the Profile of Mood States (POMS). RESULTS: During the MedPork intervention, participants consumed an average of 3 weekly servings of fresh pork. Compared to LF, the MedPork intervention led to higher processing speed performance (p = 0.01) and emotional role functioning (p = 0.03). No other significant differences were observed between diets. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that a Mediterranean diet inclusive of fresh, lean pork can be adhered to by an older non-Mediterranean population while leading to positive cognitive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrients
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019

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