Dietary flavonols tied to reduced risk for Alzheimer’s dementia

  • Neurology
  • 29 Jan 2020

  • curated by Susan London
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Older adults with higher dietary intakes of flavonols had lower risk for Alzheimer’s dementia in this prospective cohort study.
  • Reduction seen even after adjustment for age, sex, education, APOE ɛ4 status, and participation in cognitive and physical activities.

Why this matters

  • Options for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s dementia are limited.

Key results

  • During median 6.1-year follow-up, 23.9% participants received an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis.
  • Dietary flavonol intake was inversely associated with adjusted risk in Cox proportional hazards models.
  • Highest vs lowest quintile of intake (HRs):
    • Total flavonols: 0.52 (P=.006);
    • Kaempferol: 0.50 (P=.002);
    • Myricetin: 0.62 (P=.03); and
    • Isorhamnetin: 0.62 (P=.02).
  • Only a trend seen for quercetin intake (HR, 0.70; P=.06).
  • Total flavonol intake: 5.3 mg/day in lowest quintile, 15.3 mg/day in highest.

Study design

  • Community-based prospective cohort study of 921 dementia-free older adults (mean age, 81.2 years) in the Rush Memory and Aging Project.
  • Diet assessed with food frequency questionnaire at annual evaluations.
  • Main outcome: clinician-diagnosed Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Funding: NIH; National Institute on Aging; USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Limitations

  • Residual and unmeasured confounding.
  • Recall and self-reporting bias for diet.
  • Uncertain generalizability to nonwhite, low-education, nonvolunteer populations.
  • Possibility that subclinical Alzheimer’s dementia led to altering diet.