February 2013

Antioxidants May Not Protect Against Dementia

A new study suggests that antioxidant intake may not protect against dementia.

Antioxidants are molecules that work to prevent damage that occurs in cells and body tissues due to both normal bodily processes and exposure to some chemicals. The most popularly used antioxidants today are ascorbic acid (vitamin C), glutathione, lipoic acid, carotenes, α-tocopherol (vitamin E), and ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10).

The recent study included 5,395 individuals 55 years of age or older, from the Rotterdam study. Participants answered food intake questionnaires. Researchers assessed the total antioxidant intake, from established food ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) values. Tea and coffee were a main source of antioxidants.

After 13.8 years into the study, about 600 participants developed dementia and stroke. Data analysis showed no link between total antioxidant intake and stroke or dementia risk. Individuals consuming low levels of antioxidants had a similar occurrence of stroke or dementia, compared with individuals consuming high levels of antioxidants.

Further study on this topic is warranted.

For more information about antioxidants, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

For more information about dementia or stroke, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Devore EE, Feskens E, Ikram MA et al. Total antioxidant capacity of the diet and major neurologic outcomes in older adults. Neurology. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182840c84.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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