In a nutshell
This study looked at the effect of different diets on the risk of a second stroke in patients who had already suffered one stroke. It found that the Mediterranean diet (MD), reduction of salt intake, and folic acid supplements may reduce the risk of a second stroke.
Diet is an important factor in the development of many metabolic medical conditions. It is well known that poor diet is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. However, it is not clear if altering diet after a stroke will reduce the risk of a second stroke.
Methods & findings
Previous studies on diets for stroke prevention were examined in this study.
B-group vitamins are commonly known for their effect on brain health. An analysis of 22 clinical trials has found that B9 vitamin (folic acid) has benefits in preventing stroke. There was no effect on the prevention of stroke for other vitamins from the B group.
Salt intake is often associated with high blood pressure which is also associated with stroke. Moderate salt reduction was associated with a lower risk of stroke.
One type of diet often recommended for the prevention of stroke is the Mediterranean diet (MD). MD consists of a high intake of olive oil, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and cereals, moderate intake of fish and poultry, and low intake of dairy, red meat, processed meat, and sweets. In a study of 7,447 patients with increased stroke risk, the risk of stroke in the MD groups was 42% lower than the risk in the low-fat diet group over an average of 4.8 years.
The bottom line
This study found that a largely plant-based diet such as the MD, salt reduction, and folic acid supplements may help to reduce the risk of having a second stroke.
Discuss with your doctor about the benefits of a healthy diet.
Published By :
The Lancet. Neurology
Dec 18, 2020