Researchers from Edith Cowan University found that eating flavonoid-rich foods such as apples and tea may protect against dementia.
Dementia is a progressive and irreversible loss of cognitive function that interferes with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the most common types of dementia.
The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is changes in the brain, such as abnormal protein buildups. Vascular dementia is caused by damage to blood vessels in the brain.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects and protect cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease.
Fruits and vegetables such as onions, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, grapes, and berries are rich sources of flavonoids. Tea and red wine are also sources of flavonoids.
However, the link between flavonoid intake and dementia risk has been unclear until this study.
The research team examined 55,985 people of the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study and found that moderate intakes of flavonols, flavanol oligo+polymers, anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones were linked to a lower risk of dementia, particularly vascular dementia.
Flavonoid intakes were not strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
The researchers also found that the inverse association between total flavonoid intake and incident dementia was stronger in “ever” smokers and in those without high blood cholesterol levels.
The inverse association of vascular dementia with moderate total flavonoid intake was stronger in “ever” smokers and in those who were “normal” to “overweight.”
In conclusion, the study suggests that a moderate intake of flavonoid-rich foods may help to reduce dementia risk.
The research was conducted by Dr. Nicola Bondonno et al. and published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
If you care about dementia, please read studies about new hidden cause of dementia, and vitamin D deficiency linked to Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and results showing cranberries could help boost memory.
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