The study suggests that taking a daily flavanol supplement improves hippocampal-dependent memory in older adults who have a relatively poor diet. According to study investigator Scott Small, MD, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, there is increasing evidence that certain nutrients are important for aging of the body and brain.
These findings represent "the beginning of a new era" that will eventually lead to formal recommendations regarding the ideal intake of flavanols to reduce cognitive aging.
The study included 3,562 generally healthy men and women, average age 71, who were mostly well-educated and of white, non-Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. Previous research has linked flavanols, found in foods such as apples, pears, berries, and cocoa beans, to improved cognitive aging. Evidence shows that the consumption of these nutrients could be associated with the hippocampal-dependent memory component of cognitive aging.
Summary Article Flavanol Supplement Restores Memory in Adults With Poor Diets de
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The study findings were published online May 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.