February 24, 2012
DALLASWomen who eat higher amounts of flavonoid-rich citrus, especially oranges and grapefruit, have a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consume the least amount, according to a new study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers at the University of East Anglias Norwich Medical School used 14-years of follow-up data from the Nurses Health Study, which included 69,622 women who reported their food intake, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption every four years. They examined the relationship of the six main subclasses of flavonoids commonly consumed in the U.S. dietflavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonoid polymers, flavonols and flavoneswith risk of ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke.
They did not find a beneficial association between total flavonoid consumption and stroke risk, as the biological activity of the sub-classes differ; however, they found women who ate high amounts of flavanones in citrus had a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least amounts.
In the study, flavanones came primarily from oranges and orange juice (82%) and grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14%).
Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and specifically vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk," the researches said. Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect."
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