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Animal studies suggest vegetables may reduce hardening of arteries

it is not clear exactly how the high-vegetable diet influenced the development of plaques in the artery walls.

"Although the pathways involved remain uncertain, the results indicate that a diet rich in green and yellow vegetables inhibits the development of hardening of the arteries and may reduce the risk of heart disease," said Adams.

He said that a 37 percent reduction in a certain marker of inflammation in mice suggests that vegetable consumption may inhibit inflammatory activity.

"It is well known that atherosclerosis progression is intimately linked with inflammation in the arteries," Adams said. "Our results, combined with other studies, support the idea that increased vegetable consumption inhibits atherosclerosis progression through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways."

Numerous studies in humans have shown that a high-vegetable diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as with reductions in blood pressure and increases in "good" cholesterol. This is believed to be the first study to address the effect of increased vegetable consumption on the development or progression of atherosclerosis.

Despite compelling evidence supporting the health benefits of increased vegetable consumption, intake remains low, Adams said. The mean consumption is 3.2 servings per days, with about 40 percent coming from starchy vegetables such as potatoes.


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17-Jun-2006


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