More Protein Equals Lower Risk of Stroke?
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 07:45 AM

Greater dietary intake of protein was associated with a lower risk of stroke, a meta-analysis showed.  In pooled results of seven cohort studies, individuals who ate the most protein had a 20% lower relative risk of stroke compared with those who ate the least.  Dose-response analysis showed that an increased intake of 20 grams of protein per day was associated with a 26% reduction in the risk of stroke.  

"I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is that the body does recuperate and recover quicker if the nutritional status is adequate," the report notes.

 "The important key here is to determine what is the source of the protein. Is it a red meat, is it a fish, is it coming from a legume or bean?  Certainly we want to focus on looking at protein-to-fat ratio. [It's] very important to increase protein but also to make sure that the monounsaturated fats are higher than the saturated fats. Certainly you want to receive 20% of your total caloric intake from fats. No more. That does help reduce your risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack."

Although some prior studies have shown that dietary protein might help reduce the risk of stroke through blood pressure-lowering effects, the overall body of literature is conflicting.  "Currently, stroke prevention clinics will recommend consuming egg whites and avoiding egg yolks, as well as limiting consumption of red meat (less than two times/week). It is paramount to promote diets low in sodium and higher in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. More recently, the importance of folate and B12 has also been underscored."