Protein, in terms of optimal type/source and amount is always a popular subject in nutrition research. One recent study has investigated protein intake as it relates to stroke- it is intriguing and I thought I'd share it with you.
The meta-analysis, published in Neurology this month, looked at protein intake and it's potential to reduce the incidence of stroke. Chinese researchers reviewed all of the available studies checking out the relationship between protein in the diet and the risk of stroke. Seven studies (with a total of 254,489 participants who were followed for an average of 14 years) were included in this analysis.
The results? Overall, the participants with the greatest amount of protein in their diets were 20 percent less likely to develop a stroke in comparison with those that had the lowest amount of protein in their diets. (Their results controlled for other factors that could affect the risk of stroke, such as smoking and high cholesterol.) Every additional 20 grams per day of protein consumed reduced the risk of stroke by 26 percent!
The scientists did point out that the analysis did not support increased consumption of red meat, which has been associated with elevated stroke risk. Two of the studies were conducted in Japan, where fish intake surpasses that of red meat, in comparison to westerners. (And fish intake has been associated with decreased risk of stroke.)
In conclusion the results indicated that stroke risk may be reduced by replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as fish. The mechanism?? Protein intake can lower blood pressure, which may play a role in reducing stroke risk. You can check out a summary of the research HERE.