#406: Polyphenols & Cognitive Health

In Podcasts by Danny LennonLeave a Comment

Today's Topic in Focus:  [05:12]

In this episode we discuss the potential impact of dietary polyphenols on cognitive health; including cogitnitve funciton, memory, and risk of dementia and Alzeimher's. We talk about some potential mechanisms, cohort studies, and then direct controlled trials.


  1. Pérez-Jiménez et al., 2010 - Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database
  2. Phenol-Explorer database
  3. Holst & Williamson, 2008 - Nutrients and phytochemicals: from bioavailability to bioefficacy beyond antioxidants
  4. Kesse-Guyot et al., 2012 - Total and specific polyphenol intakes in midlife are associated with cognitive function measured 13 years later
  5. Devore et al., 2012 - Dietary intake of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline
  6. Yeh et al., 2021 - Long-term Dietary Flavonoid Intake and Subjective Cognitive Decline in US Men and Women
  7. Dai et al., 2006 - Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Kame Project
  8. Barfoot et al., 2019 - The effects of acute wild blueberry supplementation on the cognition of 7–10-year-old schoolchildren
  9. Whyte et al., 2019 - Flavonoid-Rich Mixed Berries Maintain and Improve Cognitive Function Over a 6 h Period in Young Healthy Adults
  10. Haskell-Ramsay et al., 2019 - Cognitive and mood improvements following acute supplementation with purple grape juice in healthy young adults
  11. Krikorian et al., 2010 - Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment
  12. Field et al., 2011 - Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in an acute improvement in visual and cognitive functions
  13. Suominen et al., 2020 - The short-term effect of dark chocolate flavanols on cognition in older adults: A randomized controlled trial (FlaSeCo)
  14. Kean et al., 2015 - Chronic consumption of flavanone-rich orange juice is associated with cognitive benefits
  15. Ochiai et al., 2019 - Effect of Chlorogenic Acids on Cognitive Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial
  16. Saitou et al., 2018 - Effect of Chlorogenic Acids on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
  17. Coffee & Health Podcast Episode
"I Have a Question!"  [72:03]

Today's question:

Nick: “Hey, guys. Could you please address this ridiculous meme that floats around the Paleosphere that suggests that NRF2 activation is the only pathway through which polyphenols confer their benefits. I'm not sure where this idea comes from, but it needs to die because it's completely untrue. Polyphenols act through multiple beneficial pathways.”

Referenced: Leri et al., 2020 - Healthy Effects of Plant Polyphenols: Molecular Mechanisms

Quack Asylum [75:45]

Paul Saladino rants about why we shouldn't polyphenols as hormetic compounds (i.e. ones that impart health benefits in small amounts). You can watch his video here.

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