Dietary flavonoids and brain health in aging: Food for thought

Catarina Rendeiro, Justin S. Rhodes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dietary flavonoids are small polyphenolic molecules found in most fruits and vegetables. Compelling evidence shows flavonoids protect the brain from aging and disease, with population studies suggesting diets rich in flavonoids can attenuate cognitive aging. Although the underlying mechanisms are not well-established, evidence from animal studies suggests that intake of flavonoids, both in pure form and within foods, can modulate neuronal function and improve synaptic plasticity. Human studies have provided further evidence that flavonoids enhance vascular function and ameliorate cerebrovascular restriction of blood flow to the brain, which might be an indirect mechanism by which plant-derived flavonoids can protect cognitive function. Given the projected increases in the incidence of dementia and age-related cognitive decline and the current lack of treatment, understanding how plant-based diets can protect brain health throughout the lifespan is crucial and may hold the key to maintaining quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFactors Affecting Neurological Aging
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128179901
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Flavonoids
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Plasticity
  • Polyphenols
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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