A new study found that higher long-term dietary intakes of flavonoids are associated with lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Researchers recently discovered that a low flavonoid intake was associated with Alzheimer’s risk, meaning a diet lacking berries, apples, tea, and other flavonoid rich foods could hold one of the keys to the disease.
The April 2020 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found, “higher long-term dietary intakes of flavonoids are associated with lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) in U.S. adults.” The study does not provide an immediate connection between the two but rather showcases an association.
According to Oregon State University, “Evidence suggesting that some flavonoids or flavonoid-rich foods may enhance cognitive function is currently limited, and it is not yet known whether their consumption could lower the risk of cognitive impairments and dementia in humans.” The University also stated that certain flavonoids have been shown to, “cross the blood-brain barrier and exert preventive effects towards cognitive impairments in animal models of normal and pathological aging.” Not only helpful for cardiovascular health, flavonoids are being investigated for their effect on the body all over the world.
A 2019 piece published in Nature Communications also found that foods rich in flavonoids could decrease the risk of cancer. Flavonoid rich foods include apples, berries, cocoa-based products, red grapes, and red wine and tea.
Facts about Alzheimer’s
The number of American adults with Alzheimer’s is heightening with each passing year. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing — and growing fast. More than 5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s. An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and it can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activity. According to the UK’s National Health Service, Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells and the plagues they deposit.
Where Marijuana Comes In
In July 2019, The Fresh Toast covered a study about cannabis and Alzheimer’s that found, “THC and CBD did the most to prevent learning impairment,” and that the compounds created a change in the plaques responsible for building up and causing memory blockages.
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Even better, a study featured in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that small doses of THC could lessen production of the proteins (and plaque) which are often found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.
Could marijuana hold another key to slowing the disease or offering an alternative for patients in cognitive disfunction or pain? Only time will tell, and hopefully, the research is already underway.