Diet and Stroke Risk

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Story Updated: Jun 13, 2014

Protein-rich diets may help lower the risk for stroke, a new study reveals. The finding, published in the journal Neurology, stems from a review of 7 previous investigations that, in total, involved more than 250,000 people.

The American, Japanese, and Swedish studies all looked at the long-term impact of protein consumption on stroke risk, with participants tracked for an average of 14 years. The findings collectively showed that men and women who consumed the highest amounts of protein appeared to face a 20% lower risk for stroke than those who consumed the lowest amounts.

The conclusion held up even after accounting for other important risk factors, such as having a history of smoking or high cholesterol. In fact, even moderate increases in protein intake seemed to protect against stroke. For example, stroke risk dropped by roughly 26% for every additional 20 grams of protein consumed.

However, the study team cautioned against eating more red meat as a result of the findings, noting that other sources of protein - like fish - may be better options.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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