New research published in Nature Communications suggests that increasing intakes of flavonoid-rich foods such as apples, tea and pears could help to reduce mortality, particularly in smokers and high alcohol consumers.
For the study, researchers explored the association of total flavonoid and flavonoid sub-class intakes with all-cause, cardiovascular disease-related (CVD-related) and cancer-related mortality in 56,048 participants of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort who were followed over 23 years.
A total of 14,083 participants died from any cause during 1,085,186 person-years of follow-up. The study found a moderate habitual intake of flavonoids was inversely associated with all-cause and CVD- and cancer-related mortality. The authors noted this plateaued at intakes of around 500 mg/day for all-cause and CVD mortality and around 1,000 mg/day for cancer-related mortality.
The associations were stronger in current smokers and in those who consume, on average, more than 20 g (two standard drinks) of alcohol per day and a lower risk was seen for higher intakes in these groups.
“These findings highlight the potential to improve population health through dietary recommendations to ensure adequate consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, particularly in these high-risk populations,” the authors concluded.