Prevent Stroke with Citrus Fruit | Recent research shows that eating citrus fruit regularly can help reduce the risk of stroke. For this study, researchers focused on compounds called flavanone, which is found in citrus fruits.
"These data provide strong support for eating more fruit juice as a daily consumption to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke," says study leader Aedin Cassidy, head of the nutrition of Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, England.
There is a possibility that flavanone in citrus fruits improve blood vessel function or reduce inflammation, which has been associated with stroke, the researchers said.
Cassidy said, to gain maximum benefit from the flavanone, fruits should be presented in the form of juice and no added sugar.
The study was published online on February 23, 2012 in the journal Stroke, whose research is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Flavanones is a type of flavonoid which has been known for its ability to suppress the incidence of stroke risk is lower. In addition to fruits and vegetables, flavonoids are also found in red wine and dark chocolate.
For this study, the researchers focused on the six subclasses of flavonoids, including flavanone.
In the study researchers evaluated data from the U.S. Nurses Health Study for 14 years. The study involved nearly 70,000 women, who each reported their food intake every four years and include details about the consumption of fruits and vegetables. At the end of the study note that there are about 1803 cases of stroke occurring. Approximately half had ischemic stroke (blockage of blood vessels).
Researchers said the number of flavonoid intake did not reduce the risk of stroke, but flavanone intake may reduce the risk of stroke. Women who earn more flavanone intake have an increased risk 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than those who eat them in small amounts.
The researchers found that 95 percent of consumption flavanone derived from citrus fruits and juices, especially orange and grapefruit juice. Participants who ate the fruit or orange juice at most, the risk of stroke was reduced by 10 percent.
Women who received the lowest intake of flavanone on average consume about 150 milligrams of flavonoids per day or less. While those who earn large amounts of flavanone intake consumed about 470 milligrams a day.
Cassidy said, a piece of citrus fruit contains 45 to 50 milligrams of flavanone.
The findings also showed that those who run a high flavonoid diet tend to have a healthy lifestyle such as smoking less, exercising more often, eat more fiber, and a little caffeine and alcohol consumption.
Researchers confirmed that relationship between diets high in flavanone and a lower risk of stroke does not prove causality.
Additional research is needed to better understand the link between consumption and the risk of stroke flavanon, the researchers said. Although this study only included women, Cassidy suspect the findings would apply to men. "This study now needs to be done," said Cassidy.
Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine neurology department, said the study adds information to us to determine the relationship between diet and risk of stroke.
"There are some studies that suggest that greater consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with reduced risk of stroke," said Gardener, who was not involved in the study.
"These findings underscore the importance of fruit and vegetable intake, as well as providing evidence that citrus fruits may be particularly important in terms of reducing the risk of stroke," he concluded.