In April 2012, a new study published in the Annals of Neurology reports that higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, reduces rates of cognitive decline in older adults. Cognitive impairment affects 10 million American adults, with an additional 5.2 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease.
The subjects consisted of women participating in the Nurse’s Health Study. The subjects completed food frequency questionnaires every four years beginning in 1980. In 1995-2001, researchers evaluated 16,010 women aged 70 years or older for cognitive function twice at two-year intervals.
The investigators determined that greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline. The researchers also found that berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. In addition, the investigators showed that greater intakes of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline.
The investigators stated, “Higher intake of flavonoids, particularly from berries, appears to reduce rates of cognitive decline in older adults”.
Devore EE, et al. Ann Neurol. 2012 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print.]