Posted on May 23, 2023, 4 p.m.
Eating plant-based foods that contain dietary compounds called flavonols can help to lower your chances of developing frailty, and foods such as apples and blackberries that contain quercetin flavonoids may be the most important for frailty prevention, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University-Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) that has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“There may be some validity to the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor (or frailty) away,” the study authors wrote. “Our findings suggest that for every 10 mg higher intake of flavonols per day, the odds of frailty were reduced by 20%. Individuals can easily consume 10 mg of flavonols intake per day since one medium-sized apple has about 10 mg of flavonols.”
“Although there was no significant association between total flavonoid intake and frailty, higher flavonols intake (one of the subclasses of flavonoids) was associated with lower odds of developing frailty,” researchers Shivani Sahni and Courtney L. Millar continued.
“Specifically, higher quercetin intake was the flavonoid that had the strongest association with frailty prevention. This data suggests that there may be particular subclasses of flavonoids that have the most potential as a dietary strategy for frailty prevention,”
Around 10-15% of older adults experience frailty, while many people think that this condition only affects the very old, one study from Flinders University found that it can actually begin during a person’s 40s. This study published in BMC Geriatrics revealed that 45% of those aged 40-49 years old were experiencing pre-frailty, this is roughly the same percentage of 70-75-year-olds who experience pre-frailty.
“You don’t have to be in your 70s or 80s to be heading down the path to frailty. Age doesn’t matter,” said Sue Gordon, a professor at Flinders and Chair of Restorative Care in Aging. “Successful healthy aging interventions and self-management should commence in at least the fourth decade of life focusing on these factors which contribute to pre-frailty and frailty.”
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