A diet that inhibits inflammation protects against stroke and myocardial infarction
A diet high in fish oil, magnesium, curcumin, red pepper and other anti-inflammatory components reduces the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Epidemiologists from the Korean National Cancer Center in Gyeonggi-do come to that conclusion in a study recently published in Nutrients. According to the Koreans, men in particular can benefit from a diet with a low dietary inflammatory index.
Imran Khan and his colleagues followed a group of more than 160,000 South Koreans, who were 40-79 years old when the investigation began, for 7 years. During this time, 1111 study participants had a heart attack or stroke.
The researchers knew the diet of the study participants, and calculated for each particant to what extent its diet promoted or reduced inflammation.
Dietary factors such as large amounts of carbohydrates, bad fats, iron and calories promote inflammation, while factors, such as magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, carotenoids and flavonoids, actually inhibit inflammation. A diet high in anti-inflammatory factors [and with a high dietary inflammatory index] protects against cancer, helps prevent heart attacks and slows aging at the molecular level.
The greater the anti-inflammatory value of their diet, the greater the chance of a heart attack or stroke. In particular, the risk of a stroke was related to the participants’ diet’s inflammatory index.
When the Koreans broken down their data by sex, the inflammatory index appeared to be more relevant for men than women. A diet low in carbohydrates and high in magnesium and curcumin therefore protects men especially against strokes and heart attacks.
The researchers also found that the anti-inflammatory value is more important the more unhealthy a lifestyle is in other areas. If you are too fat, smoke or do little exercise, the protective effect of a diet that slows down inflammation weighs more heavily. [Table]
“The results underline the importance of consuming a more anti-inflammatory diet as a strategy to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease for public health recommendations and guidelines for dietary recommendations in clinical settings,” the Koreans conclude.
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