Life Health & Wellbeing

Saturday 23 August 2014

Why a high protein diet may lower stroke risk

John von Radowitz

Published 12/06/2014 | 02:30

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Replace red meat protein with protein sources in fish.
High protein diets may cut the risk of stroke, scientists have said
High protein diets may cut the risk of stroke, scientists have said

High protein diets may protect against stroke, especially if they contain a lot of fish, scientists have said.

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Researchers analysed seven diet studies involving a total of 254,489 participants whose progress was monitored for an average of 14 years.

Those who ate the most protein were 20pc less likely to suffer a stroke than those con- suming the lowest levels. For every 20 additional grammes of protein eaten per day, stroke risk reduced by around 26pc.

Study author Dr Xinfeng Liu, from Nanjing University School of Medicine in China, said: "The amount of protein that led to the reduced risk was moderate – equal to 20 grammes per day.

"Additional, larger studies are needed before definitive recommendations can be made, but the evidence is compelling."

An estimated 1.4 million stroke deaths could be prevented worldwide each year by higher protein consumption, he said. However, the findings did not support increased consumption of red meat, which has been associated with greater stroke risk.

"These results indicate that stroke risk may be reduced by replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as fish," Dr Liu said.

But animal protein appeared to be more protective than vegetable protein.

One explanation for the effect may be that protein lowers blood pressure, Dr Liu added.

Press Association

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