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Gulf Today Report
Fruits have been key to various health benefits but different types of food are linked to risks of different types of strokes, researchers say. The higher the intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, the lower the risk of ischaemic stroke.
This type of stroke is caused by blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The blockage reduces the blood flow and oxygen leading to damage or death of brain cells.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, saw researchers pick over 4,18,000 people in nine European countries and investigate ischaemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke separately.
The study found that while 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.
However, greater consumption of eggs was associated with a higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke, but not with ischaemic stroke, the researchers said.
"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," said study first author Tammy Tong from University of Oxford in the UK.
Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is bleeding in the brain that damages nearby cells. About 85 per cent of strokes are ischaemic and 15 per cent are haemorrhagic. Stroke is the second leading cause of deaths worldwide.
The total amount of fibre (including fibre from fruit, vegetables, cereal, legumes, nuts and seeds) that people ate was associated with the greatest potential reduction in the risk of ischaemic stroke, the researchers said.
Every 10g more intake of fibre a day was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk, which is equivalent to around two fewer cases per 1,000 of the population over 10 years, they added.
Fruit and vegetables alone were associated with a 13 per cent lower risk for every 200g eaten a day, which is equivalent to one less case per 1,000 of the population over 10 years.
No foods were linked to a statistically significant higher risk of ischaemic stroke.
The researchers found that for every extra 20g of eggs consumed a day there was a 25 per cent higher risk of haemorrhagic stroke.
The researchers said the associations they found between different foods and ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke might be explained partly by the effects on blood pressure and cholesterol.
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