HomeScience and Nature Flavonoid-Rich Diet May Lower Cardiovascular Risks in Older Women

Flavonoid-Rich Diet May Lower Cardiovascular Risks in Older Women

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In a study of 881 elderly women, a team of researchers from Edith Cowan University and elsewhere found that the participants were far less likely to have extensive build-up of abdominal aortic calcification if they consumed a high level of flavonoids — naturally occurring substances found in many common foods and beverages such as black and green tea, apples, nuts, citrus fruit, and berries — in their diet. The findings appear in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

In older women, greater habitual dietary flavonoid intake associates with less extensive abdominal aortic calcification. Image credit: Parmenter et al., doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.122.318408.

Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) is the calcification of the abdominal aorta — the largest artery in the body which supplies oxygenated blood from the heart to the abdominal organs and lower limbs — and is a predictor of cardiovascular risk such as heart attack and stroke. It has also been found to be a reliable predictor for late-life dementia.

“While there are many dietary sources of flavonoids, some havae particularly high amounts,” said Ben Parmenter, a researcher with the Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute at Edith Cowan University.

“In most populations, a small group of foods and beverages — uniquely high in flavonoids — contribute the bulk of total dietary flavonoid intake.”

“The main contributors are usually black or green tea, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, red wine, apples, raisins/grapes and dark chocolate.”

There are many different types of flavonoids, such as flavan-3-ols and flavonols, which the study indicated appear to also have a relationship with AAC.

The participants who had a higher intake of total flavonoids, flavan-3-ols and flavonols were 36-39% less likely to have extensive AAC.

Black tea was the study cohort’s main source of total flavonoids and was also associated with significantly lower odds of extensive AAC.

Compared with respondents who didn’t drink tea, participants who had two-to-six cups per day had 16-42% less chance of having extensive AAC.

However, some other dietary sources of flavonoids such as fruit juice, red wine and chocolate, did not show a significant beneficial association with AAC.

“Out of the women who don’t drink black tea, higher total non-tea flavonoid intake also appears to protect against extensive calcification of the arteries,” Parmenter said.

“This implies flavonoids from sources other than black tea may be protective against AAC when tea is not consumed.”

“This is important as it allows non-tea drinkers to still benefit from flavonoids in their diet.”

“In other populations or groups of people, such as young men or people from other countries, black tea might not be the main source of flavonoids.”

“AAC is a major predictor of vascular disease events, and our study shows intake of flavonoids, that could protect against AAC, are easily achievable in most people’s diets.”


Benjamin H. Parmenter et al. 2022. Higher Habitual Dietary Flavonoid Intake Associates With Less Extensive Abdominal Aortic Calcification in a Cohort of Older Women. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 42: 1482-1494; doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.122.318408

Source : Breaking Science News

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