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Antioxidants may decrease risk of developing dementia

December 9, 2013

Blood concentrations of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia, says a new German study.

In the observational study, the blood levels of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene as well as levels of lycopene and coenzyme Q10 were measured in 74 patients with mild dementia and 158 healthy control persons, all aged 65 to 90 (1). The results showed that the serum concentrations of vitamin C and beta-carotene were significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in the controls.

The researchers commented that the findings indicate it may be possible to influence the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by increasing one’s intake of dietary antioxidants. In order to possibly influence the onset and development of AD, further investigations into potential dietary risk factors would be needed.

Alterations in the brain, caused by amyloid-beta plaques and loss of synapses, are held responsible for the characteristic symptoms of AD. Oxidative stress is believed to promote the development of AD, and so antioxidants may help to protect against neurodegeneration.

References

  1. Von Arnim, C. A. F. et al. Dietary Antioxidants and Dementia in a Population-Based Case-Control Study among Older People in South Germany. Journal of lzheimer’s Disease. Published online September 2012.