Eating Fruit Daily Makes Significant Reduction in
Large study says the more fruit you eat the more the
risk declines; also significantly lowers blood pressure
2, 2014 Eating fruit every day will reduced your risk of
cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 40 percent and the more fruit you
eat the more this risk declines, suggests the results of a study of
almost half a million presented to the European Society of Cardiology
Dr. Huaidong Du from Oxford, UK, presented the
findings from the seven year follow-up study of nearly 0.5 million
people in the China Kadoorie Biobank at the society meeting in
"CVD, including ischemic heart disease (IHD) and
stroke, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Improving diet and
lifestyle is critical for CVD risk reduction in the general population
but the large majority of this evidence has come from western countries
and hardly any from China," Dr. Du said.
She added, "China has a different pattern of CVD,
with stroke as the main cause compared to western countries where IHD is
Previous studies have combined ischemic and
hemorrhagic stroke probably due to the limited number of stroke cases in
their datasets. Given their different physiology and risk factors, we
have conducted the first large prospective study on the association of
fruit with subtypes of stroke in Chinese adults from both rural and
The current study included 451 681 participants
with no history of CVD and not on anti-hypertensive treatment at
baseline from the China Kadoorie Biobank conducted in 10 different areas
of China, 5 rural and 5 urban. Habitual consumption of fruit was
recorded at baseline according to five categories: never, monthly, 1-3
days per week, 4-6 days per week, daily.
Over the seven year follow up period there were 19
300 cases of IHD and 19 689 strokes (14 688 ischemic and 3562
hemorrhagic). Some 18% of participants consumed fruit daily and 6.3%
never consumed fruit. The average amount of fruit eaten by the daily
consumers was 1.5 portions (~150g).
The researchers found that compared to people who
never ate fruit, those who ate fruit daily cut their CVD risks by 25-40%
(around 15% for IHD, around 25% for ischemic stroke and 40% for
hemorrhagic stroke). There was a dose response relationship between the
frequency of fruit consumption and the risk of CVD.
Dr. Du said, "Our data clearly shows that eating
fresh fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including
ischemic heart disease and stroke (particularly hemorrhagic stroke). And
not only that, the more fruit you eat the more your CVD risk goes down.
It does suggest that eating more fruit is beneficial compared to less or
The researchers also found that people who consumed
fruit more often had significantly lower blood pressure (BP). Eating
fruit daily was associated with 3.4/4.1 mmHg lower systolic/diastolic BP
compared to those who never ate fruit.
"Our data shows that eating fresh fruit was
associated with lower baseline BP. We also found that the beneficial
effect of fruit on the risk of CVD was independent of its impact on
baseline BP," Dr. Du added
In a separate analysis, the researchers examined
the association of fruit consumption with total mortality and CV
mortality in more than 61 000 patients from the China Kadoorie Biobank
who had CVD or hypertension at baseline. They found that compared to
those who never ate fruit, daily consumers of fruit cut their overall
risk of death by 32%. They also reduced their risks of dying from IHD by
27% and from stroke by around 40%.
Professor Zhengming Chen, the principal
investigator of the China Kadoorie Biobank, said, "Patients with CVD and
hypertension should also be encouraged to consume more fresh fruit. Many
western populations have experienced a rapid decrease in CVD mortality
during the past several decades, especially stroke mortality since the
early 1950s, for reasons that are not yet fully explained. Improved
access to fresh fruit may well have contributed importantly to that
The researchers concluded, "Our results show the
benefit of eating fruit in the healthy general population and in
patients with CVD and hypertension. Fruit consumption is an effective
way to cut CVD risk and should not only be regarded as 'might be
useful'. Policies are needed to promote the availability, affordability
and acceptability of fresh fruit through educational and regulatory
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents
more than 80 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the
Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular
disease in Europe.
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