Fruit and Your Blood Vessels

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Story Updated: Aug 21, 2013

Here's another really good reason to fill your grocery cart with lots of fruit each week. A new study suggests eating fruit may help prevent problems with the main blood vessel that supplies your body. Researchers divided more than 80,000 people into four groups based on how much fruit and vegetables they consumed on a regular basis. Over a 13-year monitoring period, 1,086 people had abdominal aortic aneurysms, where the lower part of the aorta balloons out. 222 of them ruptured. People who ate more than two servings of fruit daily had a 25 percent lower risk of this dangerous condition compared to those who ate less than one full serving a day, and a 43 percent lower risk of rupture. Compared to those who didn't eat any fruit, those who had two servings a day had a 31 percent lower risk of a nonruptured aneurysm and a 39 percent lower risk of a ruptured aneurysm.

The researchers say protection against vascular diseases including abdominal aortic aneurysm may come from the high level of antioxidants in fruit. No association was found with vegetables, which are also chock full of important antioxidants, but not all of the same ones. The American Heart Association advises adults to eat four to five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news doctors are reading -- health news that matters to you.

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