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Oranges Are Women’s Best Friend for Stroke Prevention

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2012-02-24 08:38

Diamonds may sparkle and look good, but for better health and stroke prevention, women’s best friend may be oranges, according to the authors of a new study in Stroke. Citrus fruits, especially oranges and grapefruit, contain a type of flavonoid also found in dark chocolate that reduces the risk of stroke.

Oranges shine for stroke prevention

The steady stream of results from nutritional studies tends to have one thing in common: they involve recommendations to eat specific whole, natural foods to help reduce the risk of developing certain diseases or symptoms.

This latest study, conducted by investigators at Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, is no exception, and the findings are not surprising given what scientists have uncovered thus far about the value of flavonoids. But the information is important for women, who suffer stroke more often than men.

In fact, 425,000 women have a stroke each year, which is about 55,000 more than men. Women may also experience symptoms of stroke that differ from those of men (see below, “Stroke symptoms in women”).

In this new study, the researchers set out to identify which foods that contain different types of flavonoids have an impact on the risk of stroke. A stroke is also known as a cerebrovascular event because blood flow to part of the brain (“cerebro”) is stopped by a blockage or an embolism (ischemic stroke), or there is bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

The data for the study came from the Nurse’s Health Study, which was initiated in 1976. Investigators under the guidance of Dr. Aedin Cassidy, professor of nutrition at Norwich Medical School, evaluated 14 years of follow-up data from 69,622 women who had reported their dietary intake every four years.

Cassidy and his team were most interested in the amount of fruits and vegetables the women had consumed and any links between the different types of flavonoids and the risk of stroke.

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