Antioxidants and antioxidant-rich foods have been associated with protection against brain diseases like dementia or other diseases such as stroke. However, a recent study shows that this is not always true.
A study conducted over 14 years on 5,000 adults found that the amount of antioxidants was associated with a lower risk against stroke and dementia.
“These results are particularly interesting because other studies have found the opposite, that foods rich in antioxidants can reduce the risk of stroke and dementia,” said Elizabeth Devore, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from destructive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to various diseases, ranging from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Antioxidants can be found in foods such as strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and more.
The latest study was conducted on 5395 people aged over 55 years with no signs of dementia when the study began, as reported by CBS News (20/02).
All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the study that included 170 foods to find out how often they eat them. After 14 years, the researchers found at least 600 cases of dementia and stroke in participants.
Participants were divided into three groups. One group who eat foods rich in antioxidants, a group with high levels of antioxidants are, and one group who eat foods rich in antioxidants bit. As a result, the risk of stroke or dementia did not differ much between the one and the other. This is evidenced by the participants’ brain scans.