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Eating Fruit Protects People Against Aneurysms

Update Date: Aug 20, 2013 11:21 AM EDT

Eating fruits might help protect people against dangerous abdominal aortic aneurysm, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at data from more than 80,000 people between the ages of 46 and 84 in Sweden. The participants were followed for 13 years.  At the end of the study, nearly 1,100 participants suffered abdominal aortic aneurysms, including 222 whose aneurysms ruptured.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized ballooning of the abdominal aorta, a large artery in the body that runs through the abdomen. If the aneurysm ruptures, patients are at risk of bleeding to death, according to HealthDay.

The study revealed that people who ate more than two servings of fruit a day were 25 percent less likely to develop the condition and 43 percent less likely to suffer rupture compared to those who ate less than one serving of fruit a day.

The findings also revealed that people who consumed two servings of fruit a day had a 31 percent lower risk of the condition, and a 39 percent lower risk of rupture than those who didn't any fruit.

"A high consumption of fruits may help to prevent many vascular diseases, and our study suggests that a lower risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm will be among the benefits," lead author Dr. Otto Stackelberg, a Ph.D. student in the nutritional epidemiology unit of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in a press release.

Researchers explain that high levels of antioxidants in fruits might help protect against abdominal aortic aneurysm by reducing inflammation.

However, eating lots of vegetables, which are also rich in antioxidants, did not reduce the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Stackelberg said that vegetables do not have some types of antioxidants that are found in fruits.

"Vegetables remain important for health," he said. "Other studies have found that eating more fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and several cancers."

The study found that people ate apples and pears the most, followed by bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits.

The findings are published in the journal Circulation.

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