CHICAGO (AP) -- Eating nuts, leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, two studies suggest.
The findings build on growing research into the effects of antioxidants on dementia.
The latest studies seem to suggest that vitamin-rich foods, but not vitamin supplements, have beneficial effects. The researchers, however, said more definitive studies are needed.
The connection, at least, is considered plausible: Antioxidant vitamins have been shown to block the effects of oxygen molecules called free radicals, which can damage cells and are thought to contribute to cancer and heart disease. And lesions typically associated with exposure to free radicals have been found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
One of the studies found strong effects from vitamins E and C. In the other, results from vitamin E foods were more conclusive, but researchers said there was a suggestion vitamin C also provided benefits.
Previous research suggested that vitamin E pills could slow disease progression in people already diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The new studies examined people who had not developed the mind-robbing ailment at the outset and suggested no effect from pills.
But pill use was somewhat uncommon and of comparatively short duration in both studies.
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