Higher flavonol intake from food sources may protect against Alzheimer disease


A recent study published Online in January 29, 2020 in the journal Neurology says higher flavonol intake through food sources, mostly fruits and vegetables, may protect against the development of a brain disorder called Alzheimer disease that is marked by marked memory loss among other symptoms.



Previous studies have reported an association between high levels of flavonoid intake and lower risk for Alzheimer disease, but the effect of the flavonol subclass in humans is not known. The goal of this study was to explore the association between intake of flavonols with Alzheimer dementia.

Study methods

The study included participants who completed a comprehensive food frequency questionnaire during their annual evaluations. Of 1920 participants, the current analyses included 921 dementia-free subjects at baseline.

Of 921 participants (mean age 81.2 years, 75% women), 220 developed Alzheimer dementia (39.06 cases per 1000 person-years) during a mean follow-up of approximately 6 years.


The study found that higher flavonol intake through food sources have a protective role against the development of Alzheimer dementia, independently of many diet, lifestyle, and cardiovascular factors.

With adjustment made for age, sex, education, APOE ?4, late-life cognitive activity, and physical activity, participants in the highest vs lowest quintiles of total flavonol intake had a 48% lower rate of developing Alzheimer dementia, with kaempferol (among four significant flavonol constituents; i.e., isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin) showing independent association with the disease.


Study authors concluded: “Our findings suggest that dietary intake of flavonols may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer dementia. Confirmation of these findings is warranted through other longitudinal epidemiologic studies and clinical trials.” 


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Holland TM, Agarwal P, Wang Y, et al. Dietary flavonols and risk of Alzheimer dementia. Neurology. Published online, Jan. 29, 2020.



Published: March 1, 2020

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