Thursday, March 8, 2012

Citrus fruits may keep stroke at bay for women

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
A new study by European and U.S. scientists shows that increased consumption of flavonoid-rich foods such as certain citrus fruits may help reduce the risk of stroke in women.
In the study published last Thursday in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, researchers analyzed the flavonoid intake of 69,622 women from the U.S.-based Nurses’ Health Study, which has followed nurses since 1976 to assess risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer. The total flavonoid intake of the 69,622 women was calculated after they completed food intake questionnaires collected every four years using a U.S. Department of Agriculture database. They found that during 14 years of follow up surveys beginning in 1990, 1,803 incidents of strokes were confirmed from the women.
On analysis it was seen that women who ate high amounts of citrus products, which contain a specific class of flavonoid called flavanones, had a 19 per cent lower risk of ischemic (blood clot-related) stroke than women who didn't consume as much. Women with the lowest intake of flavonoids took in about 150 milligrams a day or less, compared to more than 470 mg a day by women consuming the highest level. A piece of citrus fruit normally contains 45 to 50 mg of flavanones.