Eating a diet rich in fruits may help lower the risk of developing abdominal aortic aneurysm, researchers have found.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is marked by a swelling in the lower part of the aorta, the body’s main artery that runs through the abdomen. Usually detected through ultrasound screening, the condition is lethal if an aneurysm ruptures.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers looked at 80,000 people between the ages of 46 and 84.
Based on the amount of fruit and vegetable they ate each day, the participants were divided into four groups. The participants were tracked for 13 years.
During the study span, 1,086 cases of abdominal aortic aneurysms were diagnosed, 222 of which ruptured.
Participants who had the highest fruit intake, more than two serving per day barring fruit juice, had a 25 percent lower risk of developing an aneurysm and a 43 percent lower risk of a ruptured one vis-à-vis peers who ate less than one serving per day.
Furthermore, people who had only two servings of fruits a day ran a 31 percent lower risk of developing the condition and a 39 percent lower risk of rupture than those who consumed no fruits at all, researchers highlighted.
Participants predominantly ate apples, pears, bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits. Fruit juice did not count towards servings in the study.
“A high consumption of fruits may help to prevent many vascular diseases, and our study suggests that a lower risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm will be among the benefits,” study’s lead author, Dr. Otto Stackelberg, student in the nutritional epidemiology unit of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said.
Eating lots of vegetables, however, did not reduce the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, researchers averred.
Researchers allege that vegetables lack some antioxidants that are found in fruits. High antioxidant content in fruits bestows a protective effect against abdominal aortic aneurysm by cutting inflammation, they explained.
But “vegetables remain important for health,” they exclaimed. “Other studies have found that eating more vegetables may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and several cancers.”
The findings of the study were reported Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.