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Potassium in bananas and avocados could prevent heart attacks and strokes: Study

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Oct 7, 2017, 4:08 pm IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2017, 4:08 pm IST

Previous research showed that stiff and hard arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Previous research showed that stiff and hard arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Previous research showed that stiff and hard arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. (Photo: Pixabay)

New research has found that eating bananas and avocados, may help prevent the hardening of the arteries which could result in the development of heart disease.

Both the food are rich in potassium, and the study conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found that both these food could reduce vascular calcification, a common complication in both heart and kidney diseases.

Previous research showed that stiff and hard arteries increase a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. The condition when arteries become hard or stiff is called arteriosclerosis, this stiffness makes the heart work in overdrive to pump blood through the body.

Potassium is thought to regulate genes that help to maintain artery flexibility.

The study was conducted in mice, with mice given either low, normal or high levels of potassium in their diets.

The study found that reducing potassium in the diet promoted elevated aortic stiffness when compared with mice who were fed normal or high potassium in their diet.

Aortic stiffness is a classic cardiovascular risk factor and is predictive of heart disease and death from heart disease. It represents an important health problem for the human population as a whole.

"The findings have important translational potential, since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice, and the adverse effect of low potassium intake," said Paul Sanders, professor at the University of Alabama to the Daily Mail.

The results also provides new targets for potential therapies to prevent or treat atherosclerotic vascular calcification and arterial stiffness.

The study was published in the journal, JCI Insight.

Tags: banana, avacado, arteriosclerosis, arteries, heart diseases, stroke