Cardiovascular Disease: Study Shows Consumption Of Cruciferous Vegetables Can Help Prevent Advanced Blood Vessel Disease Especially In Women
: A new study led by Australian researchers from Edith Cowan University, University of Western Australia, Flinders University, University of Sydney and also American researchers from Harvard Medical School, University of Minnesota and HealthPartners Institute-Minneapolis shows that cruciferous vegetables could be the most beneficial when it comes to preventing advanced blood vessel disease.
The research has found higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is associated with less extensive blood vessel disease in older women.
The study findings are published in the British Journal of Nutrition. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/cruciferous-vegetable-intake-is-inversely-associated-with-extensive-abdominal-aortic-calcification-in-elderly-women-a-crosssectional-study/D41FFFF020A58DC9A70C6320ADD86058
Utilizing data from a cohort of 684 older Western Australian women, researchers from ECU's School of Medical and Health Sciences and The University of Western Australia found those with a diet comprising more cruciferous vegetables had a lower chance of having extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta, a key marker for structural blood vessel disease.
Typically, blood vessel disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels (arteries and veins) and can reduce the flow of blood circulating around the body.
This gradual reduction in blood flow can be due to the build-up of fatty, calcium deposits on the inner walls of our blood vessels, such as the aorta. This build-up of fatty, calcium deposits is the leading cause of having a heart attack or stroke.
Dr Lauren Blekkenhorst, from the Medical School of The University of Western Australia, Perth and Lead researcher said there was something intriguing about cruciferous vegetables which this study has shed more light on.
She told Thailand Medical News, “In our past studies, we identified those with a higher intake of these vegetables had a reduced risk of having a clinical cardiovascular disease event, such as a heart attack or stroke, but we weren't sure why. Our findings from this new study provide insight into the potential mechanisms involved. We have now found that older women consuming higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables every day have lower odds of having extensive calcification on their aorta.”
She added, "One particular constituent found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables is vitamin K which may be involved in inhibiting the calcification process that occurs in our blood vessels."
She said women in this study who consumed more than 45g of cruciferous vegetables every day (e.g. ¼ cup of steamed broccoli or ½ cup of raw cabbage) were 46 percent less likely to have extensive build-up of calcium on their aorta in comparison to those consuming little to no cruciferous vegetables every day.
Dr Blekkenhorst further
added, "That's not to say the only vegetables we should be eating are broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. We should be eating a wide variety of vegetables every day for overall good health and wellbeing."
She said it was important to note the study team was very grateful to these Western Australian women, without whom these important findings would not be available for others. While observational in nature this study design is central to progressing human health.
Beth Meertens, Heart Foundation Manager, Food and Nutrition, said the findings were promising and the Heart Foundation would like to see more research in this area.
Ms Meertens said, "This study provides valuable insights into how this group of vegetables might contribute to the health of our arteries and ultimately our heart said. Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia and poor diet is responsible for the largest proportion of the burden of heart disease, accounting for 65.5 percent of the total burden of heart disease.”
She added, “The Heart Foundation recommends that Australians try to include at least five serves of vegetables in their daily diets, along with fruit, seafood, lean meats, dairy and healthy oils found in nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of Australian adults don't eat this recommended daily intake of vegetables."
Both Dr Blekkenhorst and senior author, Associate Professor Joshua Lewis, are supported in their additional positions at Edith Cowan University by the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
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