flavonols will improve your memory, Consuming more flavonols, antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, tea, and wines, can slow down the memory loss rate, a new study suggests.
The cognitive scores of those in the study who consumed the highest amount of flavonols sank 0.4 units per 10 years less slowly than those who ate the least flavonols. The results were consistent even after taking into account other factors that affect memory, including smoking, age, and sex, by the study that was recently presented in Neurology which is the medical journal published by 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,” the study’s lead author Dr. Thomas Holland, an instructor in the 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.”
According to Professor, flavonols act as cytoprotection, which means they shield cells, which includes neurons, and it’s possible that they could directly affect cognition. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine and nutrition, wasn’t involved in the research.
“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,” Katz explained via email.
“They are an indicator of higher quality of diet overall or a higher level of health awareness. People who are healthier aware may take actions to protect their brains or, perhaps, being healthier results from higher cognitive abilities.”
A large collection of phytochemicals
Plants are home to over five thousand flavonoid compounds. They are involved in creating cell growth as well as fighting environmental stress. They also play a role in attracting insects to pollinate.
Flavonols, a kind of flavonoid, have been proven in animal and human studies to decrease inflammation, which is one of the major triggers of chronic diseases, and are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight 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, an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health.
A well-known flavonol, quercetin, has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer and other cancers, as per research. Onions have the highest concentrations, but fewer levels are found in blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, curly kale, leeks, spinach, and strawberries.
Kaempferol, another commonly used flavonol, is believed to block the growth of cancerous cells while safeguarding normal cells. Kaempferol is a good source of asparagus, onions, and berries. However, the most abundant plant sources are spinach, kale, and various green leafy vegetables and herbs like chives, Dill, and tarragon.
The third most important player is myricetin. It’s been examined in rodents to determine blood sugar control and the reduction of tau, a protein that triggers the infamous tangles associated with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The fruits of the tiger include significant amounts of myricetin; however, the black currants, honey grapes, and fruits such as berries, vegetables, tea, nuts, and other fruits are also excellent sources.
The final flavonol group, isorhamnetin, is a good choice to shield against neurovascular and cardiovascular disease and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Isorhamnetin is a good source of olive oil, pears, wine, and tomato sauce.
This article has an exhaustive list of flavonoid contents of different fruits and vegetables.
An older, non-dementia-free population
The study asked 961 individuals between the ages of 81 and with no indications of dementia to complete the questionnaire about their food each year over seven years. Additionally, participants were subjected to each year’s tests of memory and cognitive function and were tested on the amount of time they spent physically and mentally engaged.
The participants were divided according to the number of flavonols they consumed daily. In the lowest group, intakes were approximately 5 milligrams daily; the highest was 15 milligrams per day — equivalent to around a cup of deep-colored greens, as the study found. (As per the study, the median flavonol consumption in US adults ranges from 16-20 milligrams a day. )
The study investigated the effects of four important flavonols, such as quercetin, kaempferol myricetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol, upon the pace of decline in cognitive capacity over seven years.
The most significant impact was seen by kaempferol. Those who consumed the most amount of food products containing kaempferol demonstrated an 0.4 unit per 10 years less pace of decline in cognitive capacity than those who ate the least, as per this study.
Myricetin was next: Those who consumed the most food containing myricetin had an 0.3 units/decade less speed of declining cognitive function compared with the group that consumed the least. The individuals who consumed the highest amount of food items with quercetin had a 0.2 unit per decade lower rate of decline in their cognitive abilities.
The jury isn’t out
Despite their apparent benefits of flavonols, research studies on the effect of flavonols on human health have not been conclusive because many studies are observational and do not demonstrate a direct cause and result. As its authors claim, this is the case for the Neurology study.
A handful of controlled studies — which are the gold standard of scientific research have demonstrated the benefits associated with flavonols in regulating blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes as well as the possibility of improving heart health, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, which is the home of the Micronutrient Information Center the world’s largest online database of nutrition information.
According to the institute, it isn’t known if these benefits will last long, and no proof of their influence has been established on cancer prevention or protection against cognitive impairment.
“There are other bioactive that may contribute to the observed outcomes,” Katz added. “Supplemental studies are needed to determine the full extent of flavonoid effects. .”
There’s a disadvantage to assuming that there is a health risk without the research to prove it, as stated by Dr. Christopher Gardner, a researcher in health and director of the Nutrition Study Research Group of Stanford University.
“You can count on Americans wanting the benefits of plants but not wanting to eat them,” the author wrote via email.
“(What) do you think happens if people look at the headline and decide to go out to buy bottles of (extracted) flavonols instead of eating whole plant food, and later discover that it wasn’t only flavonols, but the whole that contained everything in the plant foods (instead)