- Apples and blackberries, rich in a flavonoid known as quercetin, might play a crucial role in preventing frailty, a common syndrome in older adults.
- An additional daily intake of 10 mg of flavonols (found in a medium-sized apple) can reduce the risk of frailty by 20%, based on a research study.
- While total flavonoid intake isn’t shown to prevent frailty, higher intake of flavonols, a subclass of flavonoids, can decrease the likelihood of its development.
- The researchers recommend future studies to focus on dietary interventions using flavonols or quercetin for frailty management.
- The researchers also urge further investigations involving participants with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The virtues of consuming your leafy greens for strength are well-known. However, have you ever considered bolstering your diet with flavonols? A recent study proposes that the inclusion of plant-based nourishment teeming with these vital dietary ingredients may decrease the risk of becoming frail with advancing years.
Apples and blackberries, both rich in a particular flavonoid known as quercetin, might play a crucial role in frailty prevention, the research reveals.
The Power of Flavonols
“The notion that an apple a day keeps the doctor, or notably the fear of frailty at bay might just hold some truth,” says researcher Steven Oei from the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. “Our research points to a 20% reduction in the risk of frailty with every additional 10 mg of daily flavonol intake. Considering a medium-sized apple carries about 10 mg of flavonols, achieving this is quite feasible”.
Frailty – a geriatric syndrome that increases the likelihood of falls, fractures, disability, hospitalization, and even deaths – affects 10% to 15% of older adults. Existing dietary suggestions for frailty prevention have generally revolved around protein-rich foods. However, countless other foodstuff also hold beneficial properties, say the authors of the study.
The Flavonoid-Frailty Connection
“While total flavonoid intake may not display a significant link to preventing frailty, a higher intake of flavonols – a flavonoid subclass – was associated with decreased odds of developing frailty” explain study co-authors Shivani Sahni and Courtney Millar, also of the Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, in Boston. “Specifically, a higher intake of quercetin was found to be the most strongly associated flavonoid with frailty prevention”.
The study leveraged data from the Framingham Heart Study, encompassing over 1,700 people who didn’t exhibit any signs of frailty at the beginning of the study and were tracked for about 12 years. At the end of the study, around 13% of the participants had developed frailty.
Pave the Path for Future Research
The researchers suggest a future research focus on dietary interventions using flavonols or quercetin for frailty management. They also recommend further investigations involving racially and ethnically diverse subjects.
The salient findings are featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
To enhance your heart and brain health, learn more about flavonoids as suggested by the American Heart Association.
Source: Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, press release