Antioxidants May Limit Stroke Damage

Time and again, I've shared the awesome health-promoting effects an antioxidant-rich diet can have on your health, and most recently how it can help you fight leukemia. A new study shows how fruits and vegetables chock full of antioxidants may indeed limit the brain damage a patitent may suffer from stroke or other neurological disorders.

Researchers studied four groups of rats, all fed equal amounts of food for one month. Three groups were fed rat chow supplemented with either blueberries, spinach or spirulina, while a fourth control group ate no antioxidant-rich foods. Four weeks later, scientists induced an ischemic stroke in each rat with a blood clot, then later removed it.

To say the protective power of antioxidants on those rats was undeniable would be an understatement.

  • The size of the stroke suffered by rats fed blueberry or spinach supplements was half that seen in the brains of untreated rats.
  • Rats fed spirulina-enriched diets had stroke lesions 75 percent smaller than their untreated counterparts.
  • Rats that were pretreated with blueberry, spinach or spirulina diets showed greater recovery of poststroke movement than seen from the control group.

That said, let me remind you the total antioxidant capacity of whole foods does not necessarily reflect their potential health benefit, which depends on how they are absorbed and utilized in the body. To determine the amount of fruits and vegetables your body requires, I urge you to learn more about how to eat based on your body's unique nutritional type. Once you have, I recommend taking my free online test.

Experimental Neurology, May 2005, Volume 193, Issue 1: 75-84

Science Blog April 13, 2005

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