Whole-Grain Foods Linked to Lower
Ischemic Stroke Risk in Women
WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Sept 27 - In women, higher intake of
whole-grain foods is independently associated with a significant
decrease in the risk of ischemic stroke, according to data from the
Nurses' Health Study. Results are published in the September 27th issue
of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Simin Liu, of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and colleagues
examined dietary data on the 75,521 women in the prospective study and
compared the subject's intake of whole grain to risk of ischemic stroke.
"We found," Dr. Liu told Reuters Health, "that there
was a fairly strong and statistically significant inverse association
between intake of whole grain and risk of ischemic stroke. Comparing the
two extreme quintiles of whole-grain intake we found that the risk of
stroke was reduced by 30% to 40%."
As reported earlier this month by Reuters Health, Dr. Liu and
colleagues also demonstrated, in the same cohort, that whole-grain
intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
"Whole grains," Dr. Liu stressed, "not only contain
many micronutrients, vital chemicals, antioxidants, B vitamins, folic
and magnesium--all of which are beneficial nutrients that might have a
protective effect--but the structure of whole grains can lower glucose
and insulin response, which can, over the long-run, reduce the risk of
To reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, Dr. Liu
suggested, refined grain products in the diet should be replaced with
whole-grain products. Because total grain intake was not associated with
the risk of stroke, Dr. Liu said, "one should not focus on the
total intake of carbohydrates but one should pay attention to the types
of carbohydrates in the diet."
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