|Amino Acid / Protein|| Taurine
| ||Taurine reduces platelet aggregation, which is how most natural products work in stroke prevention.|
Fish Oil / Krill
Grape Seed Extract / Resveratrol
| ||Previous studies have determined an association between mild-to-moderate red wine consumption with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular risk.|
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland, USA) researchers investigated the mechanism by which resveratrol, a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, may protect against stroke.
Two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol, the researchers induced an ischemic stroke. Those animals that had preventively ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage, as compared to ones that had not been given the compound.
Sylvain Dore, lead researchers of the study, posits that resveratrol increases levels of an enzyme (heme oxygenase) already known to shield nerve cells in the brain from damage. When the stroke hits, the brain is ready to protect itself because of elevated enzyme levels. In mice that lacked the enzyme, the study found, resveratrol had no significant protective effect and their brain cells died after a stroke.
The team concludes that: “The data suggest a potential intracellular pathway by which resveratrol can provide cell/organ resistance against neuropathological conditions.”
Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)
| ||Cayenne reduces platelet aggregation (makes the blood less likely to clot) and thus may reduce the risk of clotting strokes.|
Turmeric Extract, Curcumin
| ||A low incidence of cerebrovascular disease was associated with geographical regions where fresh fruit and vegetable consumption (increased potassium) was high. [Low fruits and vegetables, high-meat diet increase cerebrovascular event risk. Medical Tribune March 10, 1997:26]|
Increased Fruit/Vegetable Consumption
| ||Consuming at least 3 servings per day of fruit and vegetables was associated with reduced risk of stroke and death from stroke, ischemic heart disease and cardiovascular disease in a study of over 9,000 adults, free of cardiovascular disease at the beginning of a 19 year study.[Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76(1): pp.93-99]|
Artificial Sweetener Avoidance
| ||While artificially sweetened soft drinks lack calories and thus may be a seemingly attractive alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remains unclear. Hannah Gardener, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Florida, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. |
The team found that those subjects who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43% more likely to have suffered a vascular event, as compared to those who drank none, after adjusting for confounding factors. People who drank between one diet soft drink a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks, were not found to be at increased risks for vascular events. The study authors conclude that: “Daily diet soft drink consumption was associated with several vascular risk factors and with an increased risk for vascular events.”
[Gardener H, Rundek T, Markert M, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL. “Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study.” J Gen Intern Med., January 27, 2012.]
Increased Fish Consumption
| ||Eating fish, one or more times per month, was associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke in a study of 43,671 men aged 40 to 75 years followed for 12 years. No associations were found between fish or long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and risk of hemorrhagic stroke.|
The use of fish oil or increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids should have the same effect. [JAMA 2002;288(24): pp.3130-6]
Low Fat Diet
| ||Coffee, including decaf, contains significant amounts of Vitamin K which is an important factor for blood coagulation. People at high risk for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks should avoid coffee and decaf for this reason.|
Conventional Drugs / Information
| ||You can increase the chance of getting the preventive effects and decrease the chance of side effects effects of any medicine by choosing and using it wisely. When it comes to using aspirin to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, choosing and using wisely means knowing the facts and working with your health professional.|
There are many reasons to believe that the drug dipyridamole (300mg per day) will be far more effective in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes than aspirin. Moreover, dipyridamole has none of the harmful side effects of aspirin.
Dipyridamole, like aspirin, inhibits platelet adhesion, and thus tends to prevent the vascular thrombosis of heart attacks and strokes. In a trial referencing the poor response to aspirin, Dipyridamole was added to the treatment protocol and the results were outstanding. Over a two-year period, stroke deaths were decreased by 50%, deaths from myocardial infarction decreased by 38% and deaths from cancer by 25%. [ European Stroke Prevention Study, Lancet, December 12, 1987; pp. 1,371-4]
| ||Policosanol inhibits the formation of clots, and may work synergistically with aspirin in this respect. 75% of strokes are of the clotting kind. In a comparison of aspirin and policosanol, aspirin was better at reducing one type of platelet aggregation (clumping together of blood cells) but policosanol was better at inhibiting another type. Together, policosanol and aspirin worked better than either alone.|
Lithium (low dose)
| ||Research in experimental animals with deliberately induced ischemic strokes has shown that lithium reduces the areas of cell death.|
| ||Potassium, found in fruits and vegetables, has been shown to decrease the incidence of strokes. A low potassium diet increases the risk of stroke. [Neurology 2002;59(3): pp.314-320]|
Lecithin / Choline / GPC
| ||Research on GPC's therapeutic effect in cases of vascular dementia caused by stroke suggests that GPC may promote functional recovery. These studies were uncontrolled so additional research will be necessary to confirm this benefit.|
EPA (eicosapentanoic acid)
| ||EPA reduces platelet aggregation and thus helps prevent those strokes that are due to an abnormal clotting tendency.|
Essential Fatty Acids
| ||High doses of Omega-3 oils reduce platelet aggregation and thus reduce the abnormal clotting tendency which is seen in 75% of strokes.|
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Vitamin Folic Acid
| ||A study found that people with a dietary intake of at least 300mcg per day of folic acid reduced their risk of stroke and heart disease by 20% and 13%, respectively, compared with those who consumed less than 136mcg of folic acid per day.|
[Stroke 2002;33: pp.1183-9]
| ||Vitamin E at 300 IU or above reduces platelet aggregation, as do the tocotrienols. It is interesting to note that some doctors report that starting to take large doses of vitamin E immediately after a stroke will encourage a higher level of recovery than without the use of vitamin E. For example, instead of having to use a walker, a patient may become mobile with just a cane. This was based on the work of Dr.s Wilfred and Evan Shute. They believed that vitamin E reduces ischemia commonly experienced in myocardial infarction, stroke and renal failure. |
These doctors recommended doses from 400 IU to 8,000 IU daily. The usual dose range was 800 to 1600 IU but they reported that they had given 8,000 IU (about 8 grams) without seeing any toxicity.
Yet, a study reported in the June 15, 1999, issue of the "Annals of Internal Medicine" presented data derived from over 40,000 subjects -- male health professionals whose dietary intake, use of vitamin supplements and health status were followed starting in 1986.
The researchers found no difference in risk of stroke between the high vitamin E- and C-consuming subjects and those who consumed lower levels of the two nutrients. Similarly, the researchers found that a higher intake of most of the carotenoids did not decrease the risk in these men of either total stroke or ischemic stroke. Only with respect to lutein (a carotenoid found mainly in dark-green leafy vegetables) did the investigators find a weak trend of decreased risk of stroke with increased intake.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
| ||Vitamin B6 at 150-200mg daily reduces platelet aggregation, and thus may help prevent ischemic (clotting type) strokes.|| |