Background: The aging of western societies is leading to a dramatic increase in the prevalence of
chronic conditions, threatening the health status and then the sustainability of our healthcare systems. In particular,
dementia is being increasingly recognized as a public health priority, given its enormous socioeconomic burdens
further amplified by the absence of treatments really effective in improving the clinical course of the disease.
Methods: The question of whether some degree of cognitive deterioration is an inevitable part of aging or should
be considered as a pathological pre-stage of dementia is currently debated. This is a field in need of research
because accelerated brain aging as well as further decline in cognition might be preventable in the early stages of
cognitive impairment. Herein, we discuss evidence from clinical and experimental studies on the role of polyphenols
in preserving cognitive performance across life.
Results: In recent years, the possibility of favorably influencing the cognitive trajectory through promotion of
lifestyle modifications has been increasingly investigated. In particular, the relationship between nutritional habits
and brain health has attracted special attention. Dietary polyphenols exhibit a strong potential to promote brain
due to their efficacy in protecting neurons against oxidative stress-induced injury, suppressing neuroinflammation
and in ameliorating cardiovascular risk factor control and cardiovascular function thus counteracting neurotoxicity
Conclusion: Emerging evidence suggest that dietary polyphenols, in particular flavonoids, may exert beneficial
effects on the central nervous system thus representing a potential tool to preserve cognitive performance