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Nutritional Antioxidants Can Lower Risk of Stroke

Posted by floriza in Nutrition Services

A long-term study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden has determined that women with cardiovascular disease who consume more antioxidants in their nutrition plans are less likely to suffer strokes. Antioxidants have been found to reduce inflammation within the body and decrease the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The study results were published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The women in the study who had the high frequency of antioxidant intake were found to eat twice as many fruits and vegetables, and they drank 17 times as much tea as the other women studied. The risk of stroke was found to be reduced by an average of 17 percent. This percentage rose considerably – to 46-57 percent – in the women who added higher amounts of antioxidant foods and teas to their nutritional plans. This group was also found to have a reduced consumption of coffee.

Details of the Nutrition Study

Researchers followed up with the study participants after an average of 11 years. Adjustments in the results were made for a number of criteria, such as age, smoking, weight, education, medical history, and dietary factors.

The data from more than 36,000 women in the Swedish Mammography Cohort were evaluated from 1997 through 2009. More than 30,000 of these women did not have cardiovascular disease.

An additional nutrition study published in 1986 in the American Journal of Epidemiol had similar results for both men and women. The difference is that none of the participants in the earlier study had cardiovascular disease.

One limitation of the study was that the questionnaires provided the study participants recorded only the frequency with which foods were consumed rather than the amount of the foods. Further research must be conducted to learn more about how antioxidants can reduce the risk of stroke.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that fight free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can be caused by unhealthy foods, stress, and chemicals in products or the environment. Nutritional antioxidant consumption has been linked to lower risk of a number of the most common diseases in the United States, including heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, although the National Cancer Institute states that studies have not been entirely conclusive. Three large-scale clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine if antioxidants can truly reduce the risk of cancer.

There are different types of antioxidants, and they are high in blue foods and orange foods, as well as green leafy vegetables. Certain vitamins are also antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E.

Nutrition services in New Jersey or other parts of the country provide advice to maintain good health and reduce the risk of a number of diseases through proper nutrition.


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