Flavonols cause slower decline in cognitive ability, study finds
A recent research has concluded that the people who have increased consumption of antioxidants that are rich in flavonols have slower decline in cognition and lower rate of memory loss. The cognitive score of the people who participated in the study and consumed the maximum amount of flavonols, declined 0.4 units per decade more slowly than those who consumed lesser flavonols. The results of the study were same even after adjusting factors that can alter or impact memory, like age, sex and smoking. The study was recently published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“It’s exciting that our study shows making specific diet choices may lead to a slower rate of cognitive decline,” said study author Dr. Thomas Holland, from department of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, in a statement. “Something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health.”
What are Flavonols?
The true nature of flavonols is that they are cytoprotective, which means they offer protection to cells, specifically neurons. This can be the reason that their increased consumption can have an impact on cognitive decline.
Flavonols, a type of flavonoid, are known to reduce inflammation, which is a major triggering factor for chronic disease, and are also rich sources of antioxidants. “Antioxidants combat free radicals, highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed when you exercise and when your body converts food into energy,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine and nutrition said, “But they are also a marker of higher intake of fruits and vegetables — which is good for the brain because it is good for every vital organ, and the organism as a whole.” He continued, “They may also be a marker of better overall diet quality, or even greater health consciousness. People who are more health conscious may do things to preserve their cognition, or maybe being more health conscious is a by-product of better cognition.”