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People who had the most flavonols in their diet were about half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who consumed the least, the study found.
Elderly people with diets rich in flavonols – a group of antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and tea – may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 921 people without dementia for about six years, starting when they 81 years old, on average. During the study, 220 people were diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease. People who had the most flavonols in their diet were about half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who consumed the least, the study found.
“Eat your fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, and drink some tea every now and again,” said lead study author Dr. Thomas Holland of Rush University in Chicago.
“A healthy diet that contains various fruits and vegetables is critical for continued health, especially brain health,” Holland said by email. Flavonols are a type of flavonoid, phytochemicals found in plant pigments that are known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, researchers write in Neurology. While some previous research has linked flavonoids in general to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, less is known about the impact of flavonols specifically. For the current study, researchers asked participants to complete annual questionnaires detailing how often they ate certain foods. They also did cognitive tests and other assessments each year to determine if participants had developed Alzheimer’s disease.
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