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Flavonoids support cognitive health in aging

Large, long-term study confirms benefits

This study followed 49,493 women and 27,842 men who had entered the original study between 1986 and 2002 at ages 30 to 55. Beginning in 2008 and continuing through 2014, doctors gathered a dozen food-frequency questionnaires to measure long-term average flavonoids in the diet.

Those who consumed the highest amounts of total flavonoids—an average of about 600 mg per day—were 20 percent less likely to report cognitive decline than those who consumed about 150 mg per day. Among individual flavonoids, flavones had the strongest protective effect, reducing chances for cognitive decline by 38 percent. Anthocyanins reduced chances by 24 percent.

Discussing the findings, doctors said flavonoids appear to counter oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as support good blood flow to the brain. Flavonoids come from plants that contain their yellow or red-blue-colored pigments, including oranges, lemons, citrus fruits, paprika, and other plants.

Reference: Neurology; 2021, Vol. 97, No. 10, e1041


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