High blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke; therefore, dietary measures that reduce blood pressure may in turn affect stroke risk. Consuming more magnesium, calcium and potassium has been associated with lower blood pressure in previous studies, while sodium has been positively associated with hypertension.
Susanna C. Larsson et al analyzed the diets of 26,556 Finnish male smokers age 50 to 69 years who had not previously had strokes.1
During an average of 13.6 years of follow-up, 2,702 of the men had cerebral infarctions; 579 had brain haemorrhage.
After adjusting for age and cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and cholesterol level, men who consumed the most magnesium (an average of 589 milligrams per day) had a 15 percent lower risk for cerebral infarction than those who consumed the least (an average of 373 milligrams per day).
The results "suggest that a high consumption of magnesium-rich foods, such as whole-grain cereals, may play a role in the prevention of cerebral infarction," they write
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