Diabetes, Heart, and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.      Article 334

A Higher Consumption Of Cruciferous Vegetables May Lower The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases


An earlier study shows that the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular diseases are associated with an increased the thickness of the artery walls, hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and the plaque. There are a number of studies showing that the consumption of a diet containing a high amount of vegetables can lower atherosclerosis, the thickness of the wall of the arteries and the build-up of plaque. But there is not a single study that suggests a specific type of vegetable that can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

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A higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables may lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular diseases.

In the current study, researchers wanted to investigate the association between the consumption of all the vegetables and certain vegetables and the wall the thickness of the carotid artery and the extent of plaque build-up in them. They grouped the vegetables according to the phytochemical (chemical compounds produced by plants) constituents. The study shows an inverse association between the consumption of cruciferous vegetable and the hardening of arteries in elderly women.

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Researchers have conducted a study on 954 elderly women, aged 70 years or more. They measured the thickness of the wall of the carotid artery with the consumption of vegetables. They used the ultrasound images to measure the thickness. They conducted the study with the following groups of vegetables.

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, garden cress, and cauliflower.
  • Allium vegetables such as garlic, onion, leek, and chives.
  • Legumes vegetables such as peas, soybeans, lentils, carob, and mesquite.
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, and lettuce.
  • Carotenoid (yellow/orange/red) vegetables.

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The study shows less than ten percent of the people including women are consuming at least five daily servings of the vegetables. The average vegetable consumption was found to be 199.9 grams.

The study has found that 0.036 millimeters or five percent reduction in the carotid artery wall thickness in women who daily consume at least three servings of vegetables when compared to women who daily consume two servings of vegetables less than normal.

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The study also found that a daily 10-gram increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, garden cress, bok choy, cauliflower, and broccoli can cause a 0.8 percent lower artery wall thickness on an average.

The study did not find any association between plaque severity with the vegetable consumption.

Researchers say that this study is not suggesting that the other vegetables do not provide any health benefits. But an increased consumption of a variety of all vegetables is vital to keep a good health. The study suggests that an individual can obtain an optimum vascular health benefit if the individual can consume a couple of servings of cruciferous vegetables along with the recommended daily amount of vegetables.

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Vegetables contain a number of vitamins and minerals. An earlier study has proved that vegetable consumption is associated with reduced body inflammation and oxidative stress, common conditions among patients with heart disease and stroke. This study has found a lower risk of thickening and stiffness of the artery wall with the higher consumption of the vegetables, particularly the cruciferous vegetables.

Lead author of the study was Dr. Lauren Blekkenhorst, a nutrition researcher, the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia. The study was published online April 4, 2018, in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). Title of the article was "Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women."
DOI: doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.117.008391

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Published on July 7, 2018


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