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Dietary flavonoids and human cognition: a meta‐analysis

Cheng, N., Bell, L., Lamport, D. J. ORCID: and Williams, C. M. ORCID: (2022) Dietary flavonoids and human cognition: a meta‐analysis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 66 (21). 2100976. ISSN 1613-4125

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.202100976


Abstract: Improving cognition is important in all age groups, from performance in school examinations to prevention of cognitive decline in later life. Dietary polyphenols, in particular flavonoids, have been examined for their benefits to cognitive outcomes. This meta‐analysis evaluates the effects of dietary flavonoids on cognition across the lifespan. In January 2020 databases were searched for randomized controlled trials investigating flavonoid effects on human cognition. Eighty studies, comprising 5519 participants, were included in the final meta‐analysis. The global analysis indicates dietary flavonoids induced significant benefit to cognitive performance (g = 0.148, p < 0.001), with subgroup analyses revealing that cocoa (g = 0.224, p = 0.036), ginkgo (g = 0.187, p ≤ 0.001), and berries (g = 0.149, p = 0.009) yielded the most notable improvements. Significant benefits were observed from chronic studies, in middle‐aged and older adults, and with low and medium doses. The domains of long‐term memory, processing speed, and mood showed sensitivity to flavonoid intervention. This meta‐analysis provides evidence for the positive effects of flavonoids on cognition and highlights several moderating factors. Flavonoid‐based dietary interventions therefore potentially offer a highly accessible, safe, and cost‐effective treatment to help tackle the burden of cognitive decline.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:104602
Uncontrolled Keywords:Research Article, Research Articles, cognition, effect size, flavonoid, meta‐analysis, polyphenol


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