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Eating Foods Rich in Calcium May Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

New research from Japan shows that increasing your dietary calcium intake, especially from dairy products, is associated with a reduced incidence of stroke.

Researchers from several Japanese Universities studied 41,526 individuals between the ages of 40 and 59 who had no history of cardiovascular disease. At the end of the 13 year study period, there were 1,321 incidences of stroke.

The researchers found that those individuals with the highest intake of dietary calcium were 30% less likely to suffer a stroke during the study period than those with the lowest calcium intake. This correlation was strongest with those who received their dietary calcium from dairy sources.

The research was published ahead of print on July 17, 2008 in Stroke, the journal of the American Heart Association.

There has been some recent controversy on what the optimal amounts of calcium people should be consuming. While this study points to a potential stroke-risk benefit associated with increased calcium intake, others point to potential increases in prostate and ovarian cancer risks. Like anything else, moderation is probably the best advice.

However, previous research has shown that calcium is linked with aiding bone health, help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of ccolorectal cancer and stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with longevity.

If you are looking to increase your calcium intake from dairy, be sure to seek low fat options such as skim milk, low fat cheese and low fat yogurt.

Source: Stroke Published online ahead of print 17 July 2008
“Dietary Calcium Intake and Risks of Stroke, Its Subtypes, and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese. The JPHC Study Cohort I”
Authors: M. Umesawa, H. Iso, J. Ishihara, I. Saito, Y. Kokubo, M. Inoue, and S. Tsugane
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