A compound in citrus fruits has been found to reduce stroke risk in women. According to a US study, regular consumption of fruits such as oranges and grapefruit could lower the risk of blood-clot related stroke in women.
Researchers looked at 14 years of data from a US nurses survey that included 69,622 women who reported what they ate, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption, every four years.
The aim was to study the effects of flavanoids -- a class of compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine -- on health.
While total flavanoid consumption across all six main types found in the typical US diet did not show a benefit in preventing stroke, those who ate lots of orange and grapefruit and their derived juices showed a 19 percent lower stroke risk than their counterparts in the study.
"Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and specifically vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk," said Aedin Cassidy, lead author of the study in the Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect," added Cassidy, a professor of nutrition at Norwich Medical School in the University of East Anglia.
The researchers called for more studies to better understand the apparent link, and urged women to consume oranges and grapefruit rather than their juices to avoid high sugar content from drink additives.