Association Between Food Patterns and Gray Matter Volume

Keisuke Kokubun, Yoshinori Yamakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Diet and nutrition play a key role in the promotion and maintenance of good health, as they are important modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases. A growing number of studies indicate that optimal food intake and optimal physical activity are essential for the gray matter volume (GMV). However, the precise definition of “optimal” is extremely difficult and a topic of several studies. In the current research, we used the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based normalized GMV (nGMV), for monitoring brain conditions based on GMV. By analyzing the relationship between the nGMV of 171 healthy Japanese participants and the results of a brief self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ), we found that while nGMV was high in the participants with high intake of milk and yogurt, it was low in the participants of “alcohol and animal foods dietary pattern” (high intake of alcohol and animal foods). On the other hand, another food pattern “vegetable-animal balanced dietary pattern” (balanced intake of vegetables and animal foods) has no significant association with nGMV, indicating that although a diet consisting of a good balance of vegetables and animal foods may not lead to brain atrophy, it might not positively contribute to a higher nGMV. nGMV, as an objective measure of the association between food intake and the brain, might provide useful information for “optimal” food intake for GMV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number384
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 29
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol and animal foods dietary pattern
  • brief self-administered diet history questionnaire
  • food patterns
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • normalized gray matter volume
  • vegetable-animal balanced dietary pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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