Poster Topical Area: Neurobiology

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 697

E10-01 - Dietary Intake of Flavonols May Slow Decline in Multiple Cognitive Abilities

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: Previous research has examined the relationship between cognition and flavonoids: bioactives which have known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are found in many foods. We extend this research by investigating associations of dietary intakes of total flavonols and its subclasses (kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin) on the change in cognitive performance in global cognition, episodic memory, semantic memory, working memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial ability.


Methods: The study was conducted in 970 participants (aged 60 to 100 years) of the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a prospective cohort of community-dwelling Chicagoans who were followed for an average of 6.4 years. Diet was assessed by a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at the baseline. Cognitive performance was assessed annually with a battery of 19 standardized tests. In linear mixed models, cognitive domain scores were regressed on baseline energy-adjusted flavonol variables modeled as ordinal quintile (linear trend) variables. For data presentation, all model estimates (Beta coefficients and 95% confidence intervals) were multiplied by a factor of 10.


Results: Intake of total flavonols and the specified flavonol subclasses were inversely associated with decline of global cognition and multiple cognitive domains. In models adjusted for age, sex, education, APOE-ɛ4, late life cognitive activity, smoking and physical activity, total flavonol intake was significantly associated with slower decline in global cognition (β estimate=0.04, 95% CI=0.02, 0.06) episodic memory (β=0.04, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.07) semantic memory (β=0.05, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.07) perceptual speed (β=0.03, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.05) and working memory (β=0.03, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.05) and marginally associated with visuospatial ability (β=0.02, 95% CI: -0.001, 0.04). Subclass analyses showed that intakes of kaempferol (β=0.13, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.19) and myricetin (β=0.24, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.43) were significantly associated with slower cognitive decline and marginally associated with quercetin (β=0.03, 95% CI: -0.003, 0.06).


Conclusion: Dietary intakes of total flavonols and its more common subclasses may slow decline in multiple domains of cognitive abilities with older age.




Funding Source: NIA R01 AG051641

CoAuthors: Yamin Wang, PhD – Rush University Medical Center; Puja Agarwal, PhD – Rush University Medical Center; Sarah Booth, PhD – Tufts University; Lisa Barnes, PhD – Rush University Medical Center; David Bennett, MD – Rush University Medical Center; Martha Morris, ScD – Rush Univeristy Medical Center

Thomas M. Holland

Post-doctoral Fellow
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois