Dietary Fiber May Reduce Risk of Stroke

By: Alere Staff
Publication Date: Wed, 05/01/2013

Dietary Fiber May Reduce Risk of Stroke

Add another benefit to increasing your dietary fiber: reducing your risk of stroke! A series of studies showed a 7% decrease in your risk of stroke when you eat an additional 7 grams of daily fiber.1 The meta-analysis study, “Dietary fiber intake and risk of first stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis”, published in Stroke, found the benefits showed the decrease applied to both types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic strokes are strokes caused by bleeding in the brain while ischemic strokes (the more common type) are caused by a blocked vein or artery in the brain cutting off the brain’s oxygen supply.

If you’re wondering how you can easily add an additional 7 grams of fiber to your meals, simply add an extra serving of beans or two servings of fruit (oranges, apples) per day. The study found fiber in liquid or gel form (supplements) were slightly less effective in their stroke prevention than the actual foods eaten.1 Some high fiber foods include: raspberries, pears with the skin, bananas, and strawberries, whole wheat pasta, bran flakes, oat bran, oatmeal, brown rice, split peas, lentils, artichokes.2

Warfarin levels are reduced by vitamin K intake and vitamin K appears in many foods with high dietary fiber. For this reason, work closely with your healthcare professional to choose a wide variety of your favorite foods. Remember, sudden changes to your diet, including portion sizes, could change your next INR test results. You should be consistent in the amount of vitamin K you eat each day. Consistency in diet means to be aware of the type of foods you choose every day, pay attention to your portion sizes and be aware of the frequency you consume foods high in vitamin K.

Increasing testing frequency is recommended when starting or stopping any new medication or dietary supplement including vitamins. Home INR monitoring will help improve your control of warfarin. More frequent testing, typically performed by patient self testing, is a valuable tool for detecting rises and falls in INR values and enable you to work with your doctor to make any adjustments to diet or medication dosing.3 Go to the Getting Started page or call Alere at 1.800.504.4032 for more information about testing your INR at home.

  1. Threapleton DE, et al "Dietary fiber intake and risk of first stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis" Stroke 2013; 44: DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.000151.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chart of high-fiber foods. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from website:  www.mayoclinic .com/health/
  3. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Decision Memo for Prothrombin Time (INR) Monitor for Home Anticoagulation Management (CAG-00087R) [Memorandum]. 2008. Baltimore, MD.