Higher Levels of Antioxidants May Reduce Risk of Dementia
Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals. Foods high in antioxidants include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, spinach, broccoli, and dark chocolate. A recent study suggests that higher blood levels of antioxidants may be associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia.
Researchers from the National Institute on Aging used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for their study. The data included 7,283 participants who were followed for an average of 16 years. Antioxidant levels in the blood were measured at baseline. All incidences of dementia during the study period were recorded.
Participants with the highest blood levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin were found to have a reduced risk of dementia compared to those with the lowest levels. Participants with the highest levels of the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin were also found to have a reduced risk of dementia.
The study was published online ahead of print on May 4, 2022 in the journal Neurology.
A previous study found that antioxidants may help protect against age-related eye damage.