Dairy food could be essential for a healthy brain, a new study suggests.
The study, by US and Australian researchers, involving 1,000 adults, found those who regularly have dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt score better on tests of mental ability than people who never, or rarely, consume dairy products, the Daily Mail reported.
Although the research, published in the International Dairy Journal, needs following-up, as it did not conclusively establish the link between dairy and fatty diets and brain power, it highlights an intriguing line of research.
It follows another US study, involving 104 pensioners, where scientists found older people with higher levels of beneficial fats in their blood had less brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer's disease.
These beneficial fats - omega-3 essential fats - are found in foods such as oily fish.
The study, published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, measured the levels of different fats in people's blood, rather than simply relying on their reports of what they tended regularly to eat.
It's now well established from brain-tissue studies that our mental functions depend heavily on a good supply of fat, the Mail said Tuesday.
Our brain is composed of 60 percent fat. The brain cells are insulated by sheaths of myelin composed of 75 percent fat. This myelin fat needs to be replaced constantly.