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A new Oxford study has found that daily intake of fruits can lower the overall death risk by an impressive 32 percent, while the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be cut by up to 40 percent.
The follow-up study, which was conducted for a seven-year period, involved nearly 0.5 million people in the China Kadoorie Biobank.
The researchers found that the rise in the consumption of fruits among the participants lowered their risk of developing cardiovascular ailments significantly.
Dr Huaidong Du from Oxford University said, “Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and ischaemic heart disease (IHD), are the leading cause of death worldwide. A slight improvement in the diet and lifestyle changes can help in reducing CVD risk in the general population. A large majority of this evidence has come from western countries and hardly any from China.”
For the study, the researchers involved 451,681 people without any history of CVD. All the [participants were not on anti-hypertensive treatment at baseline in ten different areas of China, including five each to rural and urban regions.
After a seven-year follow up, the researchers found 19,689 case of strokes, which included14,688 ischaemic and 3,562 haemorrhagic, and 19,300 cases of IHD.
Around 18 percent of the participants had a daily intake of fruits, while 6.3 percent never consumed them during the study period.1.5 portions (150g) of fruits were on an average daily consumed by the participants.
The researchers found that those who ate fruit on regular basis daily lowered their CVD risks by impressive 25-40 percent as compared to the people who never ate them.
Eating fruits daily lowered the IHD risk by around 15 percent and ischaemic stroke risk by around 25 percent. While fruits helped in cutting haemorrhagic stroke risk by a significant 40 percent.
The regular fruit intake also helped the participants in keeping their blood pressure (BP) under normal conditions.
Concluding the study, the researchers said, “Our data clearly shows that eating fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lower blood pressure levels.”
They further added that eating more fruit is always beneficial for all as compared to less or no fruit.
The study was presented at ESC Congress in Barcelona, Spain.