How to design nutritional intervention trials to slow cognitive decline in apparently healthy populations and apply for efficacy claims: a statement from the International Academy on Nutrition and Aging Task Force

J Nutr Health Aging. 2013 Jul;17(7):619-23. doi: 10.1007/s12603-013-0350-y.


Interventions are crucial as they offer simple and inexpensive public health solutions that will be useful over the long term use. A Task Force on designing trials of nutritional interventions to slow cognitive decline in older adults was held in Toulouse in September 2012. The aim of the Task Force was to bring together leading experts from academia, the food industry and regulatory agencies to determine the best trial designs that would enable us to reach our goal of maintaining or improving cognitive function in apparently healthy aging people. An associated challenge for this Task Force was to determine the type of trials required by the Public Food Agencies for assessing the impact of nutritional compounds in comparison to well established requirements for drug trials. Although the required quality of the study design, rationale and statistical analysis remains the same, the studies designed to show reduction of cognitive decline require a long duration and the objectives of this task force was to determine best design for these trials. Two specific needs were identified to support trials of nutritional interventions: 1- Risk- reduction strategies are needed to tackle the growing burden of cognitive decline that may lead to dementia, 2- Innovative study designs are needed to improve the quality of these studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes
  • Advisory Committees
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Cognition*
  • Dementia / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Research Design*
  • Treatment Outcome