[Sciencedaily] Adding color to your plate can reduce the risk of cognitive decline


A new study shows that people who eat a diet that includes at least half a serving a day of flavonoid-rich foods like strawberries, oranges, peppers and apples can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by 20 percent. The study was published online July 28, 2021 in the medical journal Neurology of the American Academy of Neurology. The study looked at several types of flavonoids and found that flavones and anthocyanins may have the most protective effect.

Foods rich in flavonoids.

Flavonoids are natural compounds found in plants and are considered powerful antioxidants. It is thought that having too few antioxidants can cause cognitive decline as you age.

Study author Walter Willett, MD, Public Health Physician, of Harvard University in Boston, said: “There is increasing evidence that flavonoids work to prevent your thinking skills from being reduced. decline as you get older. The results show that making simple changes to your diet can help prevent cognitive decline. “

The study observed 49,493 women with a mean age of 48 and 27,842 men with a mean age of 51 at the start of the study. Over 20 years of follow-up, people completed several questionnaires about how often they ate different foods. Their consumption of different types of flavonoids was calculated by multiplying the flavonoid content of each food by its frequency. Study participants assessed their own cognitive abilities twice over the course of the study, using questions such as, “Do you have more difficulty than usual remembering recent events? ?” and “Do you have a harder time memorizing a short list than usual?” This review notes early memory problems when people’s memory has deteriorated enough for them to notice, but not necessarily enough to be detected on a screening test.

Those in the group representing the highest 20% of flavonoid consumers, on average, had about 600 milligrams (mg) in their diets per day, compared with those in the lowest 20% of flavonoid consumers, who had about 150 mg in their diet per day. For example, strawberries have about 180 mg of flavonoids per 100 grams of serving, while apples have about 113.

After adjusting for factors such as age and total calories, those who consumed more flavonoids in their diet reported a lower risk of cognitive decline. The group of people with the highest flavonoid consumption had a 20 percent lower risk of self-reported cognitive decline than those in the lowest consuming group.

The researchers also looked at individual flavonoids. Flavones, found in certain spices and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, have the strongest protective effects on the body and are associated with a 38% reduction in risk of cognitive decline, equivalent to being three to four years younger. Chili peppers have about 5 mg of flavones per 100 grams of serving. Anthocyanins, found in blueberries, raspberries and cherries, have been linked to a 24% reduction in the risk of cognitive decline. Blueberries have about 164 mg of anthocyanins per 100 grams of serving.

“People in our study had the best results over time averaging at least half a serving per day of foods like orange juice, oranges, peppers, celery, grapefruit, water,” said Willett. grapefruit, apple and pear. While it’s possible that other phytochemicals are at work here, a colorful diet rich in flavonoids — especially flavones and anthocyanins — appears to be a good choice for promoting brain health. Castle. And it’s never too late to start, because we’ve seen those protective relationships whether people were consuming flavonoids in their diet 20 years ago, or they started incorporating them. recently.”

One limitation of the study is that the participants reported on their diet and may not remember clearly what or how much they ate.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Tian-Shin Yeh, Changzheng Yuan, Alberto Ascherio, Bernard Rosner, Walter Willett, Deborah Blacker. Long-term Dietary Flavonoid Intake and Subjective Cognitive Decline in US Men and Women. Neurology, 2021; 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012454 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012454

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210729122215.htm

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Translated by: Thu Vo

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