Stroke Risk Lower In Coffee And Tea Drinkers

Stroke risk lower in coffee and tea drinkers

Stroke risk lower in coffee and tea drinkers

Tuesday, March 19, 2013. An article published on March 14, 2013 in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reveals a protective effect for green tea and coffee against stroke in middle-aged men and women.

Yoshiro Kokubo, MD, PhD and associates analyzed data from 82,369 participants who were free of cancer or heart disease upon enrollment in the Japan Public Health Center-Based Study Cohort I and II. Dietary questionnaires administered at enrollment provided information on green tea and coffee consumption frequency. The subjects were followed for an average of 13 years, during which 3,425 strokes (including 1,964 cerebral infarctions, 1,001 intracerebral hemorrhages and 460 subarachnoid hemorrhages) and 910 coronary heart disease events occurred, resulting in a total of 4,335 cardiovascular disease events.

In comparison with those whose tea drinking was categorized as seldom at less than once per month, drinking two to three cups green tea per day was associated with a 14% lower risk of stroke and drinking more than four cups per day with a 20% reduction. Among coffee consumers, drinking the beverage three to six times per week was associated with an 11% lower risk and consuming it once per day was associated with a 20% decrease compared to seldom drinkers. The risk was particularly significant for intracerebral hemorrhage, for which the adjusted risk was reduced by 35 percent among those who consumed at least four cups green tea per day. While total cardiovascular events were lower in association with increased tea or coffee intake, no significant association was observed for coronary heart disease.

"This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks," announced Dr Kokubo who is affiliated with the Department of Preventive Cardiology at Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center. "You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet."

"The regular action of drinking tea, coffee, largely benefits cardiovascular health because it partly keeps blood clots from forming," he noted.

Other possible mechanisms cited by the authors include the ability of compounds found in tea to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation and for those in coffee to improve blood glucose levels.

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Omega-3 emulsion reduces stroke damage

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On February 20, 2013 in the journal PLOS One, Columbia University researchers report a benefit for omega-3 fatty acid-rich triglyceride lipid emulsions in an experimental model of ischemic stroke.

Richard J. Deckelbaum and his associates induced stroke in ten-day old mice and exposed them to a low oxygen environment for 15 minutes. Groups of animals were intraperitoneally injected with triglyceride emulsions containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA or both omega-3 acids; omega-6-rich triglyceride emulsions or saline before and/or after brain injury was induced. Twenty-four hours subsequent to blood flow restoration, the animals' brains were examined for damage.

Treatment with EPA and DHA prior to brain injury reduced total infarct volume by an average of 43 percent, and by 47 percent when the fatty acids were given afterward. A triglyceride emulsion enriched with DHA alone was found to reduce infarct volume by 51 percent when administered immediately after injury as well as when given two hours later. Examination of brain tissue from mice that received DHA revealed that the benefit was maintained after eight weeks.

"Since mice have a much faster metabolism than humans, longer windows of time for therapeutic effect after stroke are likely in humans," Dr Deckelbaum commented.

"A number of pathways are likely involved in omega-3 triglyceride neuroprotection," the authors write. "For example, chronic administration of DHA resulted in increases of DHA levels in brain mitochondria."

They add that DHA could help inhibit programmed cell death and improve the mitochondria's ability to handle excessive intracellular calcium resulting from ischemia. "In most clinical trials in the past, the compounds tested affected only one pathway," Dr Deckelbaum noted. "Omega-3 fatty acids, in contrast, are very bioactive molecules that target multiple mechanisms involved in brain death after stroke."

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