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Long-Term Flavonoid Intake Tied to Lower Alzheimer Risk

Findings seen for both Alzheimer disease and related dementias during nearly 20 years of follow-up

TUESDAY, May 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Higher long-term dietary intake of flavonoids is associated with lower risks for Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) in U.S. adults, according to a study published online April 22 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Esra Shishtar, from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues assessed the relationship between total and six classes of dietary flavonoid intake and risk for ADRD and Alzheimer disease using data from 2,801 participants in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort (exams 5 through 9).

The researchers found that during an average follow-up of 19.7 years, there were 193 ADRD events, of which 158 were Alzheimer disease. Individuals with the highest (>60th percentile) intakes for flavonols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers had a lower risk for ADRD versus individuals with the lowest intakes (≤15th percentile) in an adjusted analysis (hazard ratios: flavonols, 0.54; anthocyanins, 0.24; flavonoid polymers, 0.58). Similar patterns were seen with Alzheimer disease for flavonols and anthocyanins, but not for flavonoid polymers.

“Our study gives us a picture of how diet over time might be related to a person’s cognitive decline, as we were able to look at flavonoid intake over many years prior to participants’ dementia diagnoses,” a coauthor said in a statement. “With no effective drugs currently available for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, preventing disease through a healthy diet is an important consideration.”

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