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An Apple a Day: Anti-Oxidant Intake Associated With Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on 20 May 2020

Flavonoid Intake Associated With Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease
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Flavonoids are anti-oxidant molecules that occur naturally in various fruits and vegetables, and may contribute to the apparent protective effects of tea and coffee against neurodegenerative diseases. This long term study adds to the growing evidence for the benefits of flavonoids, showing that there is an association between low dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

193 of the 2,801 participants developed ADRD (Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias) and 158 developed AD during the course of this study; analysis of the relationships in the data revealed that those who consumed low amounts of flavonoids were 2-4 times more likely to develop ADRD. Low intake of anthocyanins was associated with a 4-fold increased risk of ADRD while a low intake of flavonols was associated with twice the risk.

In this study, low intake was equivalent to consuming no berries, just over one apple, and no tea in 1 month, while high intake was equivalent to consuming roughly 7.5 cups of berries, 8 apples or pears, and 19 cups of tea in 1 month. It appears as if an apple a day really might keep the doctor away, as with AD there is no cure meaning prevention is the key. According to research it appears that a person can make changes to diet late in life and still be effective, the researchers suggest that it is never too late to start making changes even if in the late 50s.

Great choices for obtaining flavonoids include apples, raspberries, blueberries, plums, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, lemons, oranges, yellow peppers, wine, green tea, certain nuts, dark chocolate, and spinach among other brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Of course, fruits and vegetables contain more beneficial components implicated in ageing besides flavonoids, such as vitamins and other antioxidants. While the study attempted to control for ‘overall dietary quality’, it is possible that these other factors had an influence on the results.

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    Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring Cohort:

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