Researchers have found that the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia, leading to suggestions that it might be possible to influence the progress of Alzheimer’s disease through diet.
The researchers, from the University of Ulm in Germany, examined 74 patients with mild dementia and 158 healthy people for the study.
They found that the concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene in the blood serum of patients with Alzheimer’s was significantly lower than in the blood of the control subjects.
Vitamin C is typically found in abundance in citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits. Beta-carotene is found in higher concentrations in food such as carrots, spinach and apricots.
Additionally, no differences between the groups could be found for the other antioxidants — vitamin E, lycopene, or coenzyme Q10, the researchers note.
Potential contributing factors such as education, civil status, BMI, consumption of alcohol and tobacco were considered in the statistical analysis.
Additional parameters — such as the storage and preparation of food, as well as other stressors in the life of the patients — might have influenced the findings.
“Longitudinal studies with more participants are necessary to confirm the result that vitamin C and beta-carotene might prevent the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Epidemiologist Professor Gabriele Nagel, who conducted the study with Neurologist Professor Christine von Arnim.
The new study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Source: University of Ulm