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Published on: May 21, 2015
by Tim Sandle for Digital Journal:
Higher intake of flavonoids during midlife is associated with greater likelihood of health and well-being in people surviving to older ages, according to a new study.
Flavonoids are a class of plant secondary metabolites. The apparent health benefits have been known since the 1930s and for a time they were referred to as “Vitamin P.” In plants, flavonoids are the basis of plant pigments, for example producing yellow or red/blue pigmentation in petals designed to attract pollinator animals.
In relation to the reported health effects, flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits as well as the support of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Now a new study suggests an intake of the chemicals helps with the aging process. A report conducted on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition concludes: “Higher intake of flavonoids at midlife, specifically flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavonols, is associated with greater likelihood of health and wellbeing in individuals surviving to older ages.”
With the study, researchers examined 13,818 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (U.S.), cross checking the health of the women with dietary data and major chronic diseases. The study focused on women aged in their late 50s. The survey took note of intakes of flavonoid-rich foods. The women were followed into their 70s. The results showed that those who survived until 70 years of age, or older, some 1,517 women were considered to have aged healthily. These women reported consuming a higher intake of several flavonoid products. Major sources of flavonoids were oranges, berries, onions, and apples.
The research has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The paper is headed “Dietary flavonoid intake at midlife and healthy aging in women.”
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