A diet high in lycopene-rich foods and vegetables can decrease the risk of stroke in men, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. Researchers in Finland studied 1,031 men aged 46-65 and found a total of 67 strokes occurred among those who had high blood levels of lycopene during 12 years of follow-up.
The study findings, however, were met with some criticism, according to Reuters article. “Studies like this are interesting, but they have significant limitations,” Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center and a professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, told the news agency, noting other unmeasured factors that could have influenced the outcome.
Although the researchers accounted for noteworthy factors that increase stroke risk (smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes), the high-lycopene group still had a 55% lower risk of suffering a stroke.
Notably absent from the research was data detailing the dietary habits of the men followed by the study. However Dr. Karppi told Reuters that his findings supported the “current advice to get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your life.