Antioxidants may not prevent stroke, dementia
A diet high in antioxidants can help prevent stroke and dementia, right? That's what previous research has suggested. But now a study done at Harvard Medical School concludes that this may not be the case. They found that after studying 5,300 people over a 14-year period, people following a high antioxidant diet were no less likely to suffer a stroke or develop dementia than those who didn't.
Other research had found a link between vitamin E intake and lower risk of dementia and between vitamin C and lowered risk of stroke. Both vitamins are antioxidants. But instead of assuming that it was the antioxidants that lowered risk of these conditions, the Harvard team dug deeper and found that the source of food for these vitamins could be what makes the difference.
In this study, those who had high antioxidant diets and low antioxidant diets were often differentiated by the amount of coffee or tea the person drank. Tea and coffee contain antioxidants, but not vitamins E or C. So getting your antioxidants from tea or coffee, the study suggests, may not be that helpful. Other research has shown, however, that people who get the majority of their antioxidants from fruit, vegetables and nuts, have seen their risks of stroke and dementia lowered.