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Eating vegetarian diet rich in nuts, vegetables, soy linked to lower stroke risk, reveals study

ANI | Updated: Feb 28, 2020 21:38 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb 28 (ANI): Here's good news for all the vegetarians who include ingredients like nuts, vegetables, soy in their diet. Researchers have found that people who have a diet rich in the said supplements may have a lower risk of stroke than people who eat a diet that includes meat and fish.
The study was published in the medical journal Neurology.
According to the study by Chin-Lon Lin, M.D., of Tzu Chi University in Hualien, Taiwan, "Stroke is the second most common cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability, it can also contribute to dementia. If we could reduce the number of strokes by people making changes to their diets, that would have a major impact on overall public health."
The study involved two groups of people from Buddhist communities in Taiwan where a vegetarian diet is encouraged, and smoking and drinking alcohol are discouraged. Approximately 30 percent of participants in both groups were vegetarians. Of the vegetarians, 25 percent were men. Researchers defined vegetarians as people who did not eat any meat or fish.
At the start of the study, the average age of all participants was 50 and none had experienced a stroke. The first group of 5,050 people was followed for an average of six years. The second group of 8,302 people was followed for an average of nine years. Participants were given medical exams at the start of the study and asked about their diet.
Vegetarians ate more nuts, vegetables and soy than non-vegetarians and consumed less dairy. Both groups consumed the same amount of eggs and fruit. Vegetarians ate more fiber and plant protein. They also ate less animal protein and fat.
Researchers then looked at a national database to determine the numbers of strokes participants had during the course of the study.
"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 Lin. "This could mean that perhaps there is some other protective mechanism that may protect those who eat a vegetarian diet from a stroke."
One limitation of the study was that the diet of participants was only assessed at the start of the study, so it is not known if participants' diets changed over time. Another limitation was that the study participant did not drink or smoke, so results may not reflect the general population. (ANI)

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