Summary: According to a new study, increasing the consumption of foods and beverages rich in antioxidant flavonols helps slow memory and cognitive decline.
According to a study published in the November 22, 2022 online issue, people who eat or drink more foods containing the antioxidant flavonols, which are found in several fruits and vegetables as well as tea and wine, may have a slower rate of memory decline. Neurology.
“It’s exciting that our study shows that making specific food choices can lead to slower cognitive decline,” said study author Thomas M. Holland, MD, MS of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
“Something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health.”
Flavonols are a type of flavonoid, a group of phytochemicals found in plant pigments known for their beneficial health effects.
The study involved 961 people with an average age of 81 without dementia. They completed a questionnaire each year about how often they ate certain foods. They also performed annual cognitive and memory tests, including recalling lists of words, memorizing numbers, and putting them in the correct order.
They were also asked about other factors, such as their level of education, the time they spent in physical activities, and the time they spent in mentally engaging activities such as reading and playing games. They were followed for an average of seven years.
The people were divided into five equal groups based on the amount of flavonols they had in their diet. While the average amount of flavonol intake among American adults is about 16–20 milligrams (mg) per day, the study population had an average dietary intake of total flavonols of about 10 mg per day.
The lowest group consumed about 5 mg per day and the highest group consumed an average of 15 mg per day; which equals about a cup of dark leafy greens.
To determine rates of cognitive decline, the researchers used an overall global cognition score summarizing 19 cognitive tests. The average score ranged from 0.5 for people with no thinking problems to 0.2 for people with mild cognitive impairment to -0.5 for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
After adjusting for other factors that may affect the rate of memory decline, such as age, sex, and smoking, the researchers found that people who consumed the most flavonols had lower cognitive scores. at a rate of 0.4 units per decade slower than people. whose consumption was the lowest. Holland noted that this is likely due to the inherent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of flavonols.
The study also broke down the class of flavonols into four constituents: kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and isorhamnetin.
The top dietary contributors for each category were: kale, beans, tea, spinach, and broccoli for kaempferol; tomatoes, kale, apples and tea for quercetin; tea, wine, kale, oranges and tomatoes for myricetin; and pears, olive oil, wine and tomato sauce for the isorhamnetin.
People who consumed the most kaempferol had a slower rate of cognitive decline of 0.4 units per decade than those in the lowest group. Those who consumed the most quercetin had a slower rate of cognitive decline of 0.2 units per decade compared to those in the lowest group. And people consuming the most myricetin had a slower rate of cognitive decline of 0.3 units per decade than those in the lowest group. Dietary isorhamnetin was not related to global cognition.
Holland noted that the study shows an association between higher amounts of dietary flavonols and slower cognitive decline, but does not prove that flavonols directly cause a slower rate of cognitive decline.
Other limitations of the study are that the food frequency questionnaire, while valid, was self-reported, so people may not accurately remember what they eat.
Funding: The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
About this diet and memory research news
Author: Nathalie Conrad
Contact: Natalie Conrad – AAN
Image: Image is in public domain
Original research: The findings will appear in Neurology
#Antioxidant #flavonols #linked #slower #memory #decline #Neuroscience #News