(ABC NEWS) — People who eat or drink more foods with the antioxidant flavonol – an ingredient found in nearly all fruits and vegetables and tea – may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and/or dementia years later.

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Researchers at Rush University of Chicago followed 921 individuals over the age of 81 for six years. Researchers kept track of specific factors in participants’ lives in relation to the progression of a degenerative brain disease, such as what they ate, level of education, and how much physical and mental activity they did.

Researchers found that people who consumed the most flavonol per day (on average of 15.3 mg) were 48% less likely to later develop Alzheimer or dementia, compared to the group that ingested the least amount per day (on average 5.3 mg).

The study results suggest that dietary intake of flavonols – largely present in fruits, vegetables, and tea – may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

It also points to the need for confirmation of these findings through other, longer studies and clinical trials.

It is important to note that the study shows an association between dietary flavonols and Alzheimer’s risk, but does not prove that flavonols directly reduce disease development risk.