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November 21, 2018

One extra banana,avocado a day prevents heart attack and stroke -Study

Banana and Avocado./COURTESY
Banana and Avocado./COURTESY

Just one extra banana or avocado a day could prevent heart attacks and stroke, new research suggests.

Potassium-rich foods may stop fatal blockages from occurring by preventing arteries from hardening, a study found.

Previous research reveals stiff, inflexible arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The researchers believe potassium regulates genes that maintain artery flexibility.

Study author Dr Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, said: 'The findings demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular [hardening]'.

How the research was carried out 

The researchers analyzed mice who are at-risk of heart disease when fed a high-fat diet.

The mice were given either low, normal or high levels of potassium.

Arteries become hard with a low-potassium diet 

Results reveal the arteries of mice fed a low-potassium diet became significantly harder.

The animals given high potassium had substantially less artery hardening.

Mice fed potassium-rich food also had reduced stiffness in their aorta, which is the body's main artery.

This is thought to be due to low-potassium levels in the blood preventing the expression of genes that maintain artery flexibility.  

Dr Sanders said: 'The findings have important translational potential since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice and the adverse effect of low-potassium intake.'

The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. 

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