Diet: Reduce Alzheimer's risk from berries, apples and tea

Diet: Reduce Alzheimer's risk from berries, apples and tea

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Foods rich in flavonoids protect against Alzheimer's

Berries, apples and tea reduce the likelihood of suffering from Alzheimer's and related dementias. According to a recent study, the consumption of small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods makes sense to protect against the development of Alzheimer's.

A recent study by Tufts University found that foods rich in flavonoids reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

2,800 people were examined for the study

The epidemiological study with 2,800 people aged at least 50 examined the long-term relationship between the consumption of foods containing flavonoids and the risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. While much research has looked at the relationship between diet and dementia over short periods of time, the new study analyzed exposure over 20 years.

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, including fruits and vegetables such as pears, apples, berries, onions, and plant-based beverages such as tea and wine. Dark chocolate is another source. Flavonoids have been linked to various health benefits, including reducing inflammation.

What Did Low Flavonol Intake Do?

The researchers found that low intake of three types of flavonoids was associated with a higher risk of dementia. For example, low intake of flavonols from apples, pears and tea was twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Quadruple Alzheimer's risk due to low consumption of blueberries and strawberries?

A low intake of so-called flavonoid polymers was associated with twice the risk of developing and associated dementias. Low levels of anthocyanins, such as those found in blueberries, strawberries and red wine, have even been associated with a four-fold risk of developing Alzheimer's and related dementias.

People should take in more flavonoids

The researchers analyzed a total of six types of flavonoids and compared the long-term intake with the number of diseases of Alzheimer's and other dementias diagnosed later in life. They found that a low intake (15th percentile or lower) of three types of flavonoids was associated with a higher risk of dementia compared to the highest intake (more than 60th percentile).

How can a high intake of flavonoids be achieved?

A low intake of only 15 percentile or lower means that no berries (anthocyanins), about one and a half apples per month (flavonols) and no tea (flavonoid polymers) were consumed per month. A high intake (60 percentile or higher) corresponded to approximately 7.5 cups of blueberries or strawberries (anthocyanins) per month, eight apples and pears per month (flavonols) and 19 cups of tea per month (flavonoid polymers).

What foods are a good source of flavonoids?

Tea, especially green tea, and berries are good sources of flavonoids. A single cup of tea a day or the consumption of some berries two or three times a week would be enough to improve the values, the researchers report.

A healthy diet protects us from Alzheimer's

Even at 50, the approximate age at which data was first analyzed for participants, it is not too late to make positive changes in their diet. Since there are currently no effective medications available to treat Alzheimer's, the prevention of the disease through a healthy diet is an extremely important aspect, the researchers report. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Esra Shishtar, Gail T Rogers, Jeffrey B Blumberg, Rhoda Au, Paul F Jacques: Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring Cohort, in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Published Apr 22, 2020) , American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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