Preventing Stroke with Nutrition
Between 1970 and 2008, the risk of stroke in high income countries fell by 42%. This time period coincided with increased public awareness of the health dangers of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking. Further understanding of the role of nutrition in the incidence of stroke is crucial to developing strategies to minimize this risk.
A recent review examined the evidence linking poor nutrition, over-nutrition, obesity, and diet to the risk of stroke by examining the results of studies examining nutrition and stroke risk.
The findings of this review are diverse. Among the most important findings are: Dietary supplementation with antioxidants, calcium, and B vitamins does not reduce the risk of stroke, while diets that are low in salt and sugar while high in potassium could reduce the risk of stroke. The overall quality of the diet, and balance between energy intake and expenditure (avoiding over-nutrition or malnutrition) seem to be more important determinants of stroke risk than individual foods or nutrients.
Further research is needed to add to the evidence relating to the association of nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns with stroke risk. A doctor of chiropractic trained in nutrition can advise you on making healthy lifestyle choices to prevent stroke and other conditions associated with aging.
Hankey GJ. Nutrition and the risk of stroke. Lancet Neurology 2012; 11: 661-81.