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Researchers say a vegetarian diet may lower risk of stroke

Researchers say a vegetarian diet may lower risk of stroke

A new study suggests that a vegetarian diet rich in nuts, vegetables and soy may lower the risk of stroke, compared to a diet that includes meat and fish. 

Researchers say a vegetarian diet may lower risk of stroke

The research, published in Neurology tracked two groups of Buddhist communities in Taiwan where the vegetarian diet is popular, and smoking and alcohol consumption discouraged. Of the participants, 30% were vegetarians, with 25% of them being men.

Following the groups for six and nine years, the researchers found that vegetarians in the first group had a 74% lower risk of ischemic stroke (when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked) compared to the non-vegetarians.

In the second group, vegetarians had a 65% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke (when an artery in the brain leaks or bursts) when compared to the meat-eaters.

“Overall, our study found that a vegetarian diet was beneficial and reduced the risk of ischemic stroke even after adjusting for known risk factors like blood pressure, blood glucose levels and fats in the blood,” said study author Chin-Lon Lin, M.D., of Tzu Chi University in Hualien, Taiwan. “This could mean that perhaps there is some other protective mechanism that may protecting those who eat a vegetarian diet from stroke.”

While the results may show a link between vegetarian diets and lower risks of stroke, researchers point out the limitation of only assessing participants at the start of the study, therefore not knowing if their diets may have changed over time.

 

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