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Antioxidants Enhance Brain Health, Reduce Risk of Dementia

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Antioxidants may help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage… Potentially reducing the risk of dementia

No, I don’t think we can take a pill (s) to completely avoid Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). But I do think we can enhance our brain health and reduce our risk of dementia as we age through:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Nutrition
  • Lifestyle therapies

The devil is in the details as the saying goes. This post focuses on the first two categories above.

Let me take a step back. My diagnosis of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma in early 1994 led to aggressive chemotherapy and radiation and a long-term side effect called chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction aka chemobrain.

Once I figured out what was wrong with my thinking, I spent years researching therapies shown to enhance brain health. As I worked through my fifties and rounded 60 years of age, I decided that I should add the study of dementia to my chemobrain research.

As you can imagine, many/most symptoms overlap. In short, it is all about enhancing brain health. On that note, as far as I can tell

  • long covid (brain function)
  • chemobrain/chemofog
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • early dementia 

all have a great deal in common.

The bottom line is that I work daily to improve my brain health. If you have any questions about your own brain health scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Best Antioxidants to Prevent Age-Related Dementia Identified?

“Higher levels of specific carotenoid antioxidants in blood may help guard against age-related dementia, new research suggests.

Investigators found that individuals with the highest serum levels of lutein+zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin at baseline were less likely to have dementia decades later than their peers with lower levels of these antioxidants.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and peas. Beta-cryptoxanthin is found in fruits such as oranges, papaya, tangerines, and persimmons.

“Antioxidants may help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage…”

“Experts do not yet know the daily level of antioxidant intake to promote healthy aging of the brain. More research is needed to establish the necessary level of antioxidant intake — through the diet and/or supplements — to promote brain health and healthy aging,” he added…

They add that the study contributes to the belief that antioxidants don’t act independently of each other or other factors, including socioeconomic status and lifestyle, in the mediation of dementia risk...

Vitamin K may be helpful for people at risk of dementia

  • In a new study in rodents, scientists studied how vitamin K can affect older rats’ cognitive abilities.
  • The researchers learned that the vitamin has the potential to improve cognitive abilities.

“A new study from AlMaarefa University in Saudi Arabia indicates that vitamin K may help protect against “cognitive deterioration.” The new study, which was presented at the Experimental Biology meeting on April 5th, 2022, tested giving a vitamin K supplement to rats…

Vitamin K/dementia study

Since vitamin K can affect brain functioning, the researchers in this study wanted to see how it affects cognitive functioning in rats.

The researchers conducted a 17-month long trial on rats. One group received a vitamin K supplement, and the other did not.

The researchers administered Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), which the authors note “is a major form of vitamin K2.”

The rats went through a series of cognitive functioning tests throughout the study. According to the authors, they tested “to assess cognitive level, anxious, and depressive-like behavior.”

By the end of the study, the rats that received the vitamin K supplements had reduced levels of cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, the authors note that these rats experienced “improved spatial memory and learning ability.”

“Vitamin K2 demonstrated a very promising impact in hindering aging-related behavioral, functional, biochemical, and histopathological changes in the senile aging brain,” says Prof. El-Sherbiny.

Long-term dietary flavonoid intake and risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias in the Framingham Offspring Cohort

“Objectives- To examine the prospective relation between total and 6 classes of dietary flavonoid intake and risk of ADRD and Alzheimer disease (AD) while addressing limitations of earlier observational studies.

Methods-We used data from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort exams 5 through 9. Participants were ADRD-free with a valid FFQ at baseline. Flavonoid intakes were updated at each exam to represent the cumulative average intake across the 5 exams, and were expressed as percentile categories of intake (≤15th, >15th to 30th, >30th to 60th, >60th) to handle their nonlinear relation with ADRD and AD.
Results-Over an average follow-up of 19.7 y in 2801 participants (mean baseline age = 59.1 y; 52% females), there were 193 ADRD events of which 158 were AD. After multivariate and dietary adjustments, individuals with the highest (>60th percentile) intakes of flavonols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers had a lower risk of ADRD relative to individuals with the lowest intakes (≤15th percentile), with HRs (95% CI; P-trend) of 0.54 (0.32, 0.90; P = 0.003) for flavonols, 0.24 (0.15, 0.39; P < 0.001) for anthocyanins, and 0.58 (0.35, 0.94; P = 0.03) for flavonoid polymers. The same pattern of associations was seen with AD for flavonols and anthocyanins but not for flavonoid polymers.

Our findings imply that higher long-term dietary intakes of flavonoids are associated with lower risks of ADRD and AD in US adults…”


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