Can Eating a Vegetarian Diet Prevent a Stroke?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

The study, which appears in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, investigated the link between a person’s diet and the occurrence of two different types of stroke.

These were hemorrhagic stroke, in which blood from an artery bleeds into the brain, and ischemic stroke, which results from a blocked blood vessel.

ishonest No.313 - Prevent Acne

No.313 - Prevent Acne

In the United States, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, and it is the second leading cause of death globally.

A stroke can result in disabilities, and affected individuals are more likely to develop dementia in the future.

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimate that by 2030, almost 4% of adults in the U.S. will have had a stroke.

Is a vegetarian diet better or worse for health?

Vegetarianism and veganism have become increasingly popular in both the United Kingdom and the U.S.

How to treat uneven skin tone naturally?

Learn more

While many people opt for a plant-based diet for environmental and animal welfare reasons, they also often perceive these diets as being better for their health.

They concluded that there could be some factors associated with animal food consumption that might prevent a stroke.

The Taiwan study

At the start of the study, the researchers medically examined the participants and asked them about their diet, smoking habits, alcohol intake, and physical activity.

The researchers then tracked the volunteers’ health using the National Health Insurance Research Database. They followed the first group of volunteers for an average of 6 years and the second group for 9 years.

ishonest No.201 - Prevent Elasticity Damage

No.201 - Prevent Elasticity Damage

The average age of the study participants was 50 years. The researchers did not recruit anyone who was under 20 years of age or had a history of stroke.

Approximately 30% of the volunteers were vegetarians who did not eat any meat or fish, and, of these individuals, about one-quarter were male.

The vegetarians ate more nuts, vegetables, and soy than the nonvegetarians. They also drank more alcohol and smoked less.

While both groups ate the same amount of fruit and eggs, the nonvegetarians consumed more dairy and fat than the vegetarian volunteers.

Activates the microcirculation of scalp and strengthens the hair follicles to stimulate hair growth

Learn more

The researchers calculated that after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and other health conditions, the vegetarians in the first group had a 74% lower risk of ischemic stroke than the nonvegetarians.

In the second group, vegetarians had a 60% lower risk of ischemic stroke, a 65% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke, and a 48% lower risk of overall stroke than nonvegetarians.

“Overall, our study found that a vegetarian diet was beneficial and reduced the risk of ischemic stroke even after adjusting for known risk factors like blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and fats in the blood.”

“This could mean that perhaps there is some other protective mechanism that may [protect] those who eat a vegetarian diet from stroke.”

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

No.501 - Frizzy Hair

J. David Spence, a professor of neurology and clinical pharmacology at Western University in London, Canada, and Christy Tangney, a professor in the department of preventive medicine at Rush University, Chicago, IL, comment on the paper in a linked editorial.

They say: “The low overall risk of stroke likely reflects the mean age at baseline of only ~50 years in both cohorts and the relatively short duration of follow-up (5–7 years in cohort 1 and 9 years in cohort 2).”

“In both cohorts, ~30% followed a vegetarian diet. Importantly, only ~25% of vegetarians were men.”

Read more on: diet, stroke

Learn about unknown needs of your skin for free