Daily Fruit/Vegetable Consumption May Prevent Poor Cognitive Function in Men

mixed fruits and vegetables
mixed fruits and vegetables
Investigators found a link between daily intake of fruits, vegetables, and fruit juices and the likelihood of late-life subjective cognitive function in this cohort of 27,842 male US health professionals.

Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, and orange juice over the course of 20 years is associated with a reduced likelihood of poor subjective cognitive function (SCF) outcomes in middle-aged and senior men, according to study results published in Neurology.

A total of 27,842 men with a mean age of 51 years who entered the study in 1986 were enrolled in the analysis. At time of enrollment, participants answered a comprehensive dietary survey. Food frequency questionnaires, regarding 24 vegetable items, 13 fruit items, and 5 fruit juice items, were administered and collected every 4 years until 2002. Investigators assessed SCF scores twice, in 2008 and 2012, with a 6-item questionnaire. Scores for both assessments were averaged as good, moderate, and poor.

In analyses adjusted for major nondietary factors and total energy intake, participants with higher total vegetable, total fruit, and fruit juice intakes had lower odds of moderate/poor SCF. The top vs the bottom quintiles demonstrated a multivariate odds ratio (OR) for vegetable intake and a moderate SCF of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.76-0.92; Ptrend <.001) and OR of 0.66 (95% CI, 0.55-0.8; Ptrend <.001) for vegetable intake and poor SCF. In addition, daily orange juice intake was associated with a lower long-term odds of poor SCF compared with <1 serving per month (OR 0.53; 95% CI, 0.43-0.67; Ptrend <.001).

The inclusion of only men in the study represented a study limitation that may reduce the generalizability of the findings across female individuals.

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The researchers added that the “subgroups of vegetables, fruits, and fruit juices that appeared particularly” beneficial for lowering the odds of long-term poor SCF “included green leafy vegetables, carotenoid-rich vegetables, berry fruits, and orange juice.”


Yuan C, Fondell E, Bhushan A, et al. Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and subjective cognitive function in US men. Neurology. 2019;92(1):e63-e75.