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Kiwis protect heart and blood vessels

Kiwis protect heart and blood vessels
Eating kiwi fruit regularly can reduce your chance of contracting cardiovascular disease write Spanish epidemiologists in Nutrition Journal. Including kiwis in your diet boosts the HDL concentration in your blood and reduces the chance of blood clots forming, and eating just one kiwi a week leads to a noticeable effect.

The researchers analysed the blood of 1469 Spaniards and recorded their diet by asking them to complete questionnaires. The researchers also asked whether the participants smoked, how much exercise they did, whether they drank alcohol and how much they weighed. They then did statistical calculations to eliminate the impact of lifestyle factors so that they could see the effects of the subjects' diet.

The participants who ate kiwis more than once a week had more 'good cholesterol' HDL in their blood than the other group. That meant that they were less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.

Frequent consumption of kiwis also seemed to lower the concentration of fibrinogen, which is also a positive effect. Fibrinogen is a clotting factor. High concentrations of fibrinogen increase the chance of blood clots developing, which in turn lead to heart attacks, strokes and thrombosis.

Kiwis protect heart and blood vessels

The researchers also found lower levels of triglycerides in the blood of the participants who ate kiwis more than once a week than in the participants who ate kiwi less often. The lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood, the lower the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. The difference between both groups was not statistically significant, however.

The blood analyses showed that the HOMA-ir of the kiwi eaters was lower than that of the participants who ate kiwi less regularly. The lower the HOMA-ir, the better the body reacts to insulin and the lower the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, although this difference was not statistically significant either.

The researchers suspect that it is the combination of vitamin C and polyphenols in kiwis that explains the effects they observed, but they are not entirely sure whether this is the case.

"In conclusion, a frequent consumption of kiwi in the regular diet is associated with lower plasma concentrations of fibrinogen, an improved plasma lipid profile", the researchers wrote. "Further interventional studies are needed to define the effects of kiwi consumption on insulin resistance and cardiovascular outcomes."

The researchers were not sponsored by a kiwi growers' organisation. They got their funds from the Spanish government, local authorities and the EU.

Nutr J. 2015 Sep 15;14:97.

Eat two kiwis for a good night's rest 22.02.2013

Cardiovascular Health