Although antioxidants are known to potentially prevent cancer, results of a new study released in Archives of Neurology suggest that compounds such as vitamin E can curtail the onset of Alzheimer's disease, seniorjournal.com reports.
The study was comprised of 5,395 participants, aged 55 or older, from 1990 to 1993.
After an average of 9.6 years, the scientists did a follow up and 365 of the participants had developed Alzheimer's. Of the original group, the patients who consumed the most foods rich in vitamin E were 25 percent less likely to develop the mental ailment.
The reason for the positive impact likely has to do with the brain's vulnerability to oxygen-related damage.
"The brain is a site of high metabolic activity, which makes it vulnerable to oxidative damage, and slow accumulation of such damage over a lifetime may contribute to the development of dementia," the authors of the study wrote.
Foods such as margarine, sunflower oil and soybean oil are all good sources of vitamin E.
According to the National Institute on Aging, as many as 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease.