Love Tea Or Risk Dementia

Tea, berries and apples decrease Alzheimer’s occurrence by four times

Berries

Berries

The epidemiological study of 2,800 people, aged 50 and older, examined the long-term relationship between eating foods containing flavonoids and risk of various memory loss diseases.

Flavonoids, found in pears, apples, berries, onions, dark chocolate, and tea, are associated with reduced inflammation.

Adults aged 50 and over who consume small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries, apples and tea, were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias over 20 years compared with people whose intake was higher, according to a new study led by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University.

Low intake of three flavonoid types was linked to higher risk of dementia when compared to the highest intake. Low intake (15th percentile or lower) was equal to no berries (anthocyanins) per month, roughly one-and-a-half apples per month (flavonols), and no tea (flavonoid polymers).

Specifically, a low intake of
Flavonols (apples, pears and tea) with twice the risk of developing dementias.
Anthocyanins (blueberries, strawberries, and red wine) with a four-fold risk.
Flavonoid polymers (apples, pears, and tea) with twice the risk.

“With no effective drugs currently available for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, preventing disease through a healthy diet is an important consideration,” said Paul Jacques, senior author and nutritional epidemiologist at the USDA HNRCA. High intake (60th percentile or higher) was equal to roughly 7.5 cups of blueberries or strawberries (anthocyanins) per month, 8 apples and pears per month (flavonols), and 19 cups of tea per month (flavonoid polymers).

High intake (60th percentile or higher) was equal to roughly 7.5 cups of blueberries or strawberries (anthocyanins) per month, 8 apples and pears per month (flavonols), and 19 cups of tea per month (flavonoid polymers).

“Tea, specifically green tea, and berries are good sources of flavonoids,” said first author Esra Shishtar, who at the time of the study was a doctoral student at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the Nutritional Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA. “When we look at the study results, we see that the people who may benefit the most from consuming more flavonoids are people at the lowest levels of intake, and it doesn't take much to improve levels. A cup of tea a day or some berries two or three times a week would be adequate.”

Jacques also said 50, the approximate age at which data was first analyzed for participants, is not too late to make positive dietary changes.

“The risk of dementia really starts to increase over age 70, and the take home message is, when you are approaching 50 or just beyond, you should start thinking about a healthier diet if you haven’t already," he said.

Reference
Paul F Jacques, Rhoda Au, Jeffrey B Blumberg, Gail T Rogers, Esra Shishtar. Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2020; DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa079
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