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Dietary Fiber Fends Off Stroke

Posted Apr 10 2013 10:09pm

Previously, a number of studies have linked dietary fiber intake to specific stroke risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol.  Diane Threapleton, from the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of eight prospective cohort studies from the United States, northern Europe, Australia, and Japan reporting on fiber intake in healthy individuals (defined as not recruited based on history of disease or poor health) and incidence of first ever stroke. The team found a steadily declining stroke risk coinciding with higher total fiber intake.  Specifically, each additional 7 g of daily dietary fiber consumed lowered the risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke combined by 7%. Writing that: “Greater dietary fiber intake is significantly associated with lower risk of first stroke,” the study authors urge that: “Overall, findings support dietary recommendations to increase intake of total dietary fiber.”

Diane E. Threapleton, Darren C. Greenwood, Charlotte E.L. Evans, Cristine L. Cleghorn, Camilla Nykjaer, Victoria J. Burley, et al.  “Dietary Fiber Intake and Risk of First Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”  Stroke, March 28 2013.

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Tip #145 - Mind the Micronutrient
An essential trace element which is necessary for growth and protein synthesis, selenium acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage that may contribute to aging and many age-related diseases. Johns Hopkins University of Public Health (Maryland, USA) researchers studied more than 13,800 subjects for 12 years, and found that a modest selenium level, between 130 and 150 ng/mL, associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Be sure to incorporate selenium-rich foods into your daily diet. Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium. The mineral is also found in organ meats, tuna, seafood, brewer's yeast, fresh garlic, mushrooms, wheat germ, and some whole grains.
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