Study Says Young Adults are a Primary Target for Phytonutrients

May 13, 2011

Research presented at April’s Experimental Biology meeting concludes that older adults (65 years old and up) are consuming a greater amount of phytonutrients than young adults (19–44 years old).

Research presented at April’s Experimental Biology meeting concludes that older adults (65 years old and up) are consuming a greater amount of phytonutrients than young adults (19–44 years old). The finding is based on an analysis of two-day, 24-hour recall data from the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), funded by vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplement marketer Nutrilite (Buena Park, CA).

Nutrilite notes the potential roles some phytonutrients can play in healthy aging: “…carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene may offer breast, ovarian and other health benefits for women, while flavonoids such as quercetin and anthocyanidins may support brain health. Ellagic acid, found in foods like pomegranates, strawberries and walnuts, may help ward off some cancers, including breast and prostate.”

According to the results of Nutrilite’s research, older adults consumed more carotenoids, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients than young adults. Older adults typically consumed 20% more carotenoids, 40% more flavonoids, and even 80% more ellagic acid than younger adults.

While these findings suggest a clear need for phytonutrients supplementation into the diets of young adults specifically, the research concluded that all age ranges are not reaching their daily fruit and vegetable intake. The highest consumers of these foods were found to be women over 65 years old. This group consumed an average of just 12% of their daily recommendations.