Flavonols from Fruits and Vegetables may help to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Flavonols in Fruits & Vegetables may Prevent Alzheimer’s Dementia

A new study published January 29, 2020 in Neurology suggests that antioxidant flavonols found in most fresh fruits and vegetables may lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers were from Rush University in Chicago. According to the lead author, Dr. Thomas M. Holland, eating more fruits, vegetables and drinking tea has the potential to be an easy and inexpensive way to help prevent or delay the onset of dementia.


Flavonals are certain kinds of plant chemicals that are known to have good effects on health. The study divided the flavonols into four types:

  1. Isorhamnetin is found abundantly in pears, olive oil, wine and tomato sauce.
  2. Kaempferol is found in abundant amounts in cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli. It is also found in beans, tea and spinach.
  3. Myricetin is found in oranges, tomatoes, tea, wine and kale.
  4. Quercetin is found in tomatoes, kale, apples and tea.

Method of the Study

Participants in the study were 921 seniors with an average age of 81 who did not have Alzheimer’s dementia. Every year the participants filled out a questionnaire about how often they ate certain kinds of foods. They were also asked about their level of education, how much time they spent participating in physical activities and how much time they spent in mind-engaging activities like playing games or reading. The people were also tested every year for about six years to see if they had developed Alzheimer’s dementia. The researchers used various tests and concluded that 220 of the participants had developed Alzheimer’s dementia during the study.

Participants were Divided into Five Groups

The people were divided into five groups according to how much flavonol they consumed in their diet. Adults in the US consume on the average about 16 to 20 milligrams of flavonols per day. In the study, the lowest group had a consumption of about 5.3 mg per day and the highest group consumed an average of 15.3 mg of flavonols per day.


The researchers found that people in the highest group were 48% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s dementia than the people in the lowest group. Of the 186 people in the highest group, 28 people, or 15%, developed Alzheimer’s dementia, compared to 54 people, or 30%, of the 182 people in the lowest group.

People who had a high intake of the isorhamnetin flavonol were 38% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Those with a high intake of kaempferol were 51% less likely to develop dementia. And those with a high intake of myricetin were also 38% less likely to develop dementia. The quercetin flavonol did not show a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia.

More Research is Needed

The study showed an association between eating certain kinds of flavonols with a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, it does not offer positive proof that eating flavonols can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, more research is needed to confirm that certain flavonols can prevent Alzheimer’s dementia. See our blog post from October 19, 2018 about another antioxidant that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most commonly found dementia in the United States and worldwide. More than five and a half million Americans are believed to be afflicted with it. Alzheimer’s usually strikes seniors over the age of 65, but there is an early onset type of Alzheimer’s that can hit people ages 40-55. Alzheimer’s is a progressively deteriorating brain disease that leads to severe memory loss, personality changes, sleep disturbances and psychiatric disorders. So far no cure or way of preventing it has been found. Millions of dollars are being invested in research and scientists all over the world are trying to find a way to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is listed as the 6th common cause of death in the United States. However, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the death rate from Alzheimer’s may be higher because many cases do not get reported. It is not always listed as the cause of death on a death certificate.

Memory Care at the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York

If your loved one is in need of long-term care for Alzheimer’s or other dementias, the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York offers expert memory care for people with dementia. Van Duyn also has a wide array of wonderful recreational activities for people with memory loss. Van Duyn’s fine dining offers a delicious and nutritious cuisine including fruits and vegetables to get those flavonols.


It pays to eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, especially as the flavonols in them might help to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia.

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