Eating fruit, vegetables and cheese linked to lower ischaemic stroke risk

Eating fruit, vegetables and cheese linked to lower ischaemic stroke risk

The risk of suffering a certain type of stroke could be diminished through diet, one of the largest studies of its kind has suggested.

Scientists observed how food related to two major types of stroke – ischaemic strokes which are caused by blockages causing a cutting off of blood supply to the brain, and haemorrhagic strokes when a bleed on the brain damages surrounding cells.

While observing data from 418,000 people in nine European countries, they found that a higher intake of dietary fibre could be linked to a decreased risk of ischaemic stroke.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, also suggested eating more eggs could be linked to a higher risk of suffering a haemorrhagic stroke.

Participants provided details on their diet, lifestyle and medical history as part of a questionnaire, with researchers following up with them for an average of 12 years. Over the period, 4,281 cases of ischaemic stroke and 1,430 cases of haemorrhagic stroke were recorded, The Independent reported.

However while higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, fibre, milk, cheese or yoghurt were linked to a lower risk of ischaemic stroke, there was “no significant association” with the foods to haemorrhagic strokes.

When it came to ischaemic strokes, every 10g increase in the intake of fibre a day was associated with a 23% lower risk, according to researchers. That rate is the equivalent of two fewer cases in every 1,000 people over the course of 10 years. Fruit and vegetables meanwhile were associated with a 13% decrease risk for every 200g per day.

Dr Tammy Tong, the first author on the study and a nutritional epidemiologist at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, said: "The most important finding is that higher consumption of both dietary fibre and fruit and vegetables was strongly associated with lower risks of ischaemic stroke."

"Our study also highlights the importance of examining stroke subtypes separately, as the dietary associations differ for ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke, and is consistent with other evidence, which shows that other risk factors, such as cholesterol levels or obesity, also influence the two stroke subtypes differently," Tong added.

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