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Family History of Stroke? You May Want to Increase Low-Fat Dairy Consumption

Did you ever think that drinking low-fat milk could lower your chances of having a stroke? According to new research, consuming low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk and reduced fat yogurt and cheese, could reduce your risk of stroke.

Researchers for this study were based at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. They published their findings online ahead of print on April 19, 2012 in the journal Stroke.

The study included 74,961 Swedish adults. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease or cancer at the onset of the study in 1997.

The researchers administered a 96-item food frequency questionnaire to determine diet and then followed up with the participants for an average of 10 years. During that time, 4,089 instances of stroke were recorded.

The researchers found that participants who consumed low-fat dairy products had a 13% lower risk of ischemic stroke compared to those who consumed the least. They believe this has to do with the high vitamin and mineral content of low-fat dairy products, which includes calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin D.

Dairy consumption has also been linked with bone health, diabetes prevention, weight loss, and improved mental function. If you're looking to add more dairy to your diet, make sure you stick to the low-fat dairy products as the high fat content of “whole milk” products could reduce the positive benefits.

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