You have probably heard the term before, but perhaps not fully understood what a flavonol is. This is a type of flavonoid, which is a phytochemical naturally found in plants. Flavonols are important because they are known to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Previous studies suggest that flavonoids may also possess a quality that could help lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease but not much has been explored about flavonol’s specific impact on the condition.
A new study, though, has shed a little more light on these benefits. Using the dietary information collected from study participants, the researchers tallied the average consumption of four particular flavonols: kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, and isorhamnetin.
It might be easier to clarify that these four flavonols are easily found in common foods. Kaempferol is found in beans, broccoli, tea, spinach, and kale. Quercetin is found in tomatoes, kale, tea, and apples. Myricetin is found in tea, wine, oranges, tomatoes, and kale. Isorhamnetin is found in pears, wine, tomato sauce, and olive oil.
In the study, flavonol consumption ranged from 5.3 mg per day to 15.3 mg per day. Even though 15 percent of those involved with the study eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease, the rate was much higher among those who consumed the least amount of flavonol (54 percent). This remained true after accounting for other Alzheimer’s risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and prior stroke or heart attack.
Most importantly, those with the highest flavonol consumption developed Alzheimer’s disease at a 48 percent lower rate. But more information is needed to define how and why this seems to work.
Study author Thomas M. Holland, MD, explains, “More research is needed to confirm these results but these are promising findings. Eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea could be a fairly inexpensive and easy way for people to help stave off Alzheimer’s dementia. With the elderly population increasing worldwide, any decrease in the number of people with this devastating disease, or even delaying it for a few years, could have an enormous benefit on public health.”
The Rush University professor goes on to say, “Eat your fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens, and drink some tea every now and again. A healthy diet that contains various fruits and vegetables is critical for continued health, especially brain health.”