Older adults who consumed small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods, such as apples, berries, and tea, were 2 to 4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer disease (AD) and related forms of dementia over 20 years compared with people whose intake was higher, according to results from a study.1

Scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, led the study, which consisted of 2800 people aged 50 years and older. Investigators examined the long-term relationship between eating foods containing flavonoids and the risk of AD and AD-related dementia.

Although many studies have looked at the association between dementia and nutrition over short periods of time, this one examined the relationship over a period of 20 years, according to the authors.

Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, including fruits and vegetables, and are associated with various health benefits, such as reduced inflammation.

When looking at the findings, it is evident that the people who may benefit the most from consuming more flavonoids are those with the lowest levels of intake, and it would not take much to improve their levels by having a cup of tea per day or berries up to 3 times per week, according to study author Esra Shishtar.

  1. More berries, apples, and tea may have protective benefits against Alzheimer’s. News release. TuftsNow; May 5, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/more-berries-apples-and-tea-may-have-protective-benefits-against-alzheimer-s