High Antioxidant Levels Linked to Lower Dementia Risk — ScienceDaily

People with high levels of antioxidants in their blood may be less likely to develop dementia, according to a study published in the May 4, 2022, online issue of Neurology®Medical Journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study found that people with high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin in their blood were less likely to develop dementia decades later than those with low levels of the antioxidant. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and beans. Beta-cryptoxanthin is found in fruits such as oranges, papayas, tangerines and persimmons.

Study author May A., PhD, MPH, of the National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, Maryland “Enhancing human cognitive functioning is an important public health challenge,” says Beidown. “Antioxidants can help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage. More research is needed to test whether adding these antioxidants can protect the brain from dementia.”

The study involved 7,283 people who were at least 45 years old at the start of the study. At the beginning of the study they underwent a physical examination, interview and blood test for antioxidant levels. They were followed for an average of 16 years to see who developed dementia.

The participants were divided into three groups based on their antioxidant levels in the blood. Those with high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were less likely to develop dementia than those with low levels. Each standard deviation increase in lutein and zeaxanthin levels, about 15.4 micromol/liter, was associated with a 7% reduction in dementia risk. For beta-cryptoxanthin, each standard deviation increase in levels, approximately 8.6 micromol/liter, was associated with a 14% reduced risk of dementia.

“It’s important to note that the effect of these antioxidants on dementia risk was somewhat reduced when we took into account other factors such as education, income, and physical activity, so it’s possible that these factors may help explain the relationship between antioxidant levels and dementia,” Bedoun said. .

A limitation of the study is that antioxidant levels were based on a measurement of blood levels and may not reflect levels in people over their lifetime.

The research was supported by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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