Nutritional status, dietary patterns and dietary quality may play an important role in reducing the risk for stroke; however, no specific dietary recommendations exist for managing stroke patients or helping prevent the recurrence of stroke. According to a recent review, dairy products — along with beans, fish, vegetables, seaweed and fruit — have been shown to help reduce the risk of stroke but are less frequently consumed by stroke patients. The authors suggest a number of dietary guidelines that could assist with the nutritional care of stroke patients and those at high risk of stroke. These include recommendations for assessing eating habits and diet quality and promoting the consumption of beneficial foods such as dairy.

A report on cardiovascular health summarizes the current research on dairy foods and dairy food nutrients/components on cardiovascular health, including their influence on stroke risk. A meta-analysis by Larsson, et al., summarized in the June issue of Dairy Research iNSIGHTS, found that in low calcium consumers dairy calcium intake was significantly associated with a reduction in stroke risk, while nondairy calcium was not.

Lim H, Choue R. Impact of nutritional status and dietary quality on stroke: do we need specific recommendations? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;May 67(5):548-554. Abstract