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Stroke risk can be reduced with low-fat dairy foods

New Delhi, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 NI Wire

The risk of a stroke is relatively lower in people who drink low-fat milk and eat low-fat curd and cheese in comparison to those who consume full-fat dairy foods, says a new study.

To reach this conclusion; researchers surveyed 74,961 adults aged 45 to 83. They observed that those who consumed low-fat dairy foods were 12 percent less prone to stroke and a 13 percent less prone to ischemic stroke (when an artery to the brain is blocked) than those who consumed high-fat dairy foods.

The people on whom study was conducted were free of heart disease, stroke and cancer when the study commenced. All participants completed a 96-item food and beverage questionnaire to reveal their dietary habits.

Food and drink intake frequency was divided into eight types, ranging from never to four servings per day, writes journal Stroke.

"This is the largest study to date to examine the association between consumption of total, low-fat, full-fat and specific dairy foods and the risk of stroke in adult men and women," Susanna Larsson, associate professor of epidemiology at the National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, who led the study has been quoted as saying.

In a duration of 10-year follow-up period, 4,089 strokes occurred (1,680 in women and 2,409 in men), 3,159 ischemic, 583 hemorrhagic and 347 unspecified strokes, a Karolinska statement reveals.

"From a public health perspective, if people consume more low-fat dairy foods rather than high-fat dairy foods, they will benefit from a reduced risk of stroke and other positive health outcomes," Larsson said.

"It is possible that vitamin D in low-fat dairy foods may explain, in part, the observed lowered risk of stroke in this study because of its potential effect on blood pressure," Larsson added.

--with inputs from IANS

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