Friday, December 02, 2011


Stroke is a devastating disease. It incapacitates, and when severe, destroys your whole future. It is a condition we all dread may happen to us and I am sure that all of us will do whatever we can to prevent it happening to us.
Well, the Swedes have given us a hint, at least for females, that is. Dr Susanne Rautainen and colleagues from the Karolinski Institute published their findings in the on-line edition of Stroke, 1st Dec.. They followed up 36,715 females who formed part of the Swedish Mammography Cohort. These were females born between 1914-1948. They were followed up from 1997-2009 ( a period of 12 years ). They were interviewed and filled up a 1997 questionaire on diet, lifestyle, education, past medical history. They then followed these females, and in 2009, track the Swedish Hospital Discharge registry to see their medical performance and admission for stokes.
They found, over these period, 31,035 females with no past history of cardiovascular Disease ( CVD ), and 5,680 with history of CVD. Amongst these individuals, there were 1,322 strokes in the no CVD group and 1007 strokes in the with CVD group. When they analyse their dietary habits, they were able to spread out those who consume large amounts of food containing TAC ( Total anti-oxidant capacity ). They did not try to measure the anti-oxidant content that each individual consumed. The researchers knew that greens and veges constituted 50% to the TAC, whole grains 18%, tea 16% and dark chocolates 5%. They found that those who ate food with the highest percentile of TAC had less strokes. In the no CVD group, the stroke risk reduction for the highest TAC percentile was 17% and the risk reduction for hemorrhagic strokes the CVD group was 45%.
Basically, in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, those who consume alot of green veges and fruits, with tea and whole grain and dark chocolates, seemed to have a significantly lower number of strokes. They feel that it is the Total Anti-oxidant Capacity, that made the difference.
So lets eat more fruits, green veges, whole grains, drink tea and if you like eat dark chocolates. The downside is minimal. It is even delicious. The upside could save you from a devastating stroke. What do you think?

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