Strawberries protect against Alzheimer's disease
If you eat strawberries regularly - once a week or more often - you protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease. American researchers at Rush University Medical Center report this in Nutrients.
The researchers followed 925 study participants aged 58-98 for about 6 years, who were mentally fit when the study began.
The researchers knew the diet of the study participants through questionnaires, and kept track of which study participants got Alzheimer's disease. There were 245 by the way.
The researchers looked at strawberry intake since an earlier epidemiological study among highly educated women showed that these fruits protected against dementia. [Ann Neurol. 2012;72(1):135-43.] Strawberries contain flavonoids, the most important of which is pelargonidin. In animal studies, pelargonidin inhibits Alzheimer's disease. [Biomed Pharmacother. 2016;83:85-91.]
The bulk of the study's funding came from the US government in the form of the National Institute of Aging. In addition, the first author received money from the California Strawberry Commission, an organization for... You get it.
The study participants who ate strawberries at least once a week were 34 percent less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's disease than the study participants who never or almost never ate strawberries.
When the researchers looked at the diet of the study participants as a whole, they saw that the intake of vitamin C and flavonoids protected against Alzheimer's.
However, those factors were not very strong in this study. More convincing was the protective effect of pelargonidin, the most important flavonoid in strawberries.
"Consumption of strawberries may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's dementia in older adults, probably due to neuroprotective action of pelargonidin, anthocyanidins, and total flavonoids", write the researchers.
"Once replicated in other cohorts and confirmed by a clinical trial, these findings may have important public health implications, as the addition of strawberries to one's diet can be an easy adaptation for older adults to reduce Alzheimer's dementia risk."
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Alzheimer's & Dementia