Food, Fuel, and Memory Loss in Men

December 10, 2018
Mark L. Fuerst

Long-term consumption of fruits and vegetables may be associated with a lower risk of memory loss over time in men.

Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and fruit juices plays a beneficial role in reducing the risk of late-life subjective cognitive function.

In a study of 27,842 men, average age 51 years, average dietary intake was calculated from 5 repeated food frequency questionnaires collected every 4 years until 2002.1 Subjective cognitive function was assessed twice (2008 and 2012) using a 6-item questionnaire; validity was supported by strong associations with APO ε4 genotype.

After controlling for major non-dietary factors and total energy intake, higher intakes of total vegetables, total fruits, and fruit juice were each significantly associated with lower odds of moderate or poor subjective cognitive function.

Higher consumption of vegetables and fruits 18 to 22 years before subjective cognitive function assessment was associated with lower odds of poor subjective cognitive function.

“One of the most important factors in this study is that we were able to research and track such a large group of men over a 20-year period of time, allowing for very telling results,” said lead author Changzheng Yuan, ScD, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. “Our studies provide further evidence dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health.” 


1. Yuan C, Fondell E, Bhushan A, et al. Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and subjective cognitive function in US men. Neurology. 2018 Nov 21; Epub ahead of print.