WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- A new study published today in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found no relation between the total number of antioxidants in one's diet and that person's risk of having a stroke or dementia.
Foods with antioxidants have been long advertised as healthy alternatives that can not only boost the immune system and prevent disease but also reduce wrinkles.
5,395 people age 55 and older, with no signs of dementia at the beginning of the study, took part. For a year, participants kept track of how often they ate 170 foods that contained antioxidants. Then researchers watched over the participants for the next 14 years, tracking their health conditions.
And the results were clear. 600 people developed dementia during the study and roughly 600 people had a stroke. But the people who were taking in more antioxidants were no more resistant to stroke or dementia than the people who took in less.
"This differed from an Italian study that found the higher total antioxidant levels were associated with a lower risk of stroke,"said Elizabeth E. Devore, ScD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The study also notes that since earlier studies have found contrasting results, it is possible that specific foods or individual antioxidants may actually lower the risk of dementia and stroke.
The American Academy of Neurology as well as the U.S. National Institutes for Health supported this study.