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Eat your veggies


A European study investigating the links between diet and disease has found that people who eat more fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of dying from ischaemic heart disease, the most common form of heart disease and leading cause of death in Europe. The authors do point out that people who eat these great diets are also people more likely to partake of other healthy lifestyle choices as well.

The research is published in the European Heart Journal. People who ate at least eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from IHD than did others. IHD is characterized by reduced blood supply to the heart. People with IHD can get angina, chest pains and heart attack.

"This study involved over 300,000 people in eight different European countries, with 1,636 deaths from IHD. It shows a 4% reduced risk of dying from IHD for each additional portion of fruit and vegetables consumed above the lowest intake of two portions. IN other words, the risk of fatal IHD for someone eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day would be 4% lower compared to someone consuming four portions a day, and so on up to eight portions or more," said Dr. Francesca Crowe of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and first author of the paper.

She continued, "The main message from this analysis is that, in this study, people who consume more fruits and vegetables have lower risk of dying from IHD. However, we need to be cautious in our interpretation of the results because we are unsure whether the association between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of IHD is due to some other component of diet or lifestyle."

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of the University College London wrote that it's difficult to reach conclusions. "Such an odds ratio is, however, a of huge practical important. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death. A reduction of 22% is huge. But, this reduction in mortality comes with consumption of eight portions a day. Such a high consumption was found in only 18% of the men and women in these eight cohorts. There would need to be a big shift in dietary patterns to achieve this healthy consumption of eight portions a day."

Pass the broccoli.

Source: European Society of Cardiology, ScienceDaily


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