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Antioxidants 'do not lower dementia risk'

Antioxidants 'do not lower dementia risk'
21st February 2013

New research has suggested that antioxidants do not lower a person's risk of dementia or stroke.

Previous studies have suggested people who have a diet that is rich in antioxidants - which are good for general health - are less likely to develop neurological problems in later life. However, the results of this investigation, published in the latest edition of the Neurology journal, appear to contradict this school of thought.

A team from Harvard Medical School in Boston, led by Professor Elizabeth Devore, analysed the diets and health of more than 5,300 people aged 55 and over. Fourteen years after their initial assessments, it was discovered around 600 had developed dementia, while roughly the same number had suffered a stroke.

It concluded those with a high antioxidant were just as likely to encounter these problems as those with a diet low in the substances.

However, the study did not take into account the source of the participant's antioxidants. As such, many experts believe some remain beneficial.

Jessica Smith, a research spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We do know that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruit, oily fish and nuts will reduce your risk of dementia so there is no reason to stop eating foods high in antioxidants."

Find out more about dementia care and support services at Barchester homes.