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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Nov;94(5):1295-303. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.014712. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Fruit and vegetable intake and cognitive function in the SU.VI.MAX 2 prospective study.

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From Centre de Gérontologie, Clinique Antonin Balmes, CHU Montpellier Université I, France.



Current hypotheses suggest that intake of fruit and vegetables (FVs) protects against age-related cognitive impairment.


We examined the 13-y association between FV intake and cognitive performance in a sample of French adults.


A total of 2533 subjects aged 45-60 y at baseline, who were part of the Supplementation with Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals 2 (SU.VI.MAX 2) cohort, were selected. FV intake was estimated at baseline in participants who had completed at least six 24-h dietary records. Cognitive performance was assessed 13 y after baseline and included an evaluation of verbal memory (RI-48 cued recall, semantic, and phonemic fluency tests) and executive function (trail-making and forward and backward digit span tests). Principal components analysis was performed to account for correlations in test scores. The relation between cognitive performance and quartiles of FV intake was assessed by multivariate linear regression analyses.


Intakes of FVs (P-trend = 0.02), fruit alone (P-trend = 0.04), vitamin C-rich FVs (P-trend = 0.03), vitamin C (P-trend = 0.005), and vitamin E (P-trend = 0.04) were positively associated with verbal memory scores. In contrast, intakes of FVs (P-trend = 0.006), vegetables alone (P-trend = 0.03), and β-carotene-rich FVs (P-trend = 0.02) were negatively associated with executive functioning scores.


FVs might have a differential effect on cognition according to groups of FVs and type of cognitive function. Further research using sensitive and reliable measures of various types of cognitive function is needed to clarify the effect of individual FV groups and nutrients. This trial is registered at as NCT00272428.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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