Higher Intakes Of Fruit, Vegetables, Fibre, Milk, Linked To Lower Risk Of Ischaemic Stroke: Study

Different types of food, including fruits and vegetables, are associated with risks of different types of stroke, published in the European Heart Journal.

Two Types of Stroke
  • There are two most common strokes: Ischaemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke.
  • Ischaemic Stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery supplying blood to the brain
  • Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is bleeding in the brain that damages nearby cells.
Findings of the Latest Study

In the current study, the scientists assessed more than 418,000 people in nine European countries, analysing cases of ischaemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke separately.

  • The study reported that higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, fibre, milk, cheese, or yoghurt were each linked to a lower risk of ischaemic stroke.
  • There was no significant association with a lower risk of haemorrhagic stroke.
  • A greater consumption of eggs was associated with a higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke, but not with ischaemic stroke.

“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, which supports current European guidelines,” said Tammy Tong, the first author of the study from the University of Oxford.

“The general public should be recommended to increase their fibre and fruit and vegetable consumption, if they are not already meeting these guidelines,” Tong said.

Increase your Daily Intake of Fibre
  • According to the study, the total amount of fibre that people ate was associated with the greatest potential reduction in the risk of ischaemic stroke.
  • It noted that every 10 gram (g) increased intake of fibre a day was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk of ischaemic stroke.
  • Fruits and vegetables alone were associated with a 13 per cent lower risk for every 200 g eaten a day.

Tong and her team suspect that the associations they found between different foods and ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke might be explained partly by the effects on blood pressure and cholesterol. According to the researchers, a major strength of the study was that it included a large number of people studied in several different countries over a long follow-up period. However, the researchers noted that the study is observational, and does not show that the foods studied cause an increase or decrease in risk of ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke.

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