Hemorrhagic Stroke Risk

By Joel Fuhrman, M.D. www.drfuhrman.com

Risk Of “Bleeding” Stroke A Concern For Vegans And Others!

High-salt consumption may be potentially more dangerous for vegans, vegetarians, and others who have earned low cholesterol levels by eating otherwise healthful diets. Just as we know that high cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease, low cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Small Arteries Vulnerable

Some studies have suggested that low serum cholesterol could enhance the vulnerability of small intraparenchymal cerebral arteries and lead to the development of stroke in the presence of hypertension.20 The plaque building process that results in atherosclerosis and premature death may in some way protect the fragile blood vessels in the brain from rupture due to high blood pressure. A high-salt diet may dramatically increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in vegans because they can live longer than the general population and not to die from a heart attack first.

To protect against heart attacks, ischemic strokes, and hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes, you must dramatically curtail salt consumption.

Additional Problems

As previously mentioned, cardiovascular diseases are not the only problems associated with salt consumption. Salt increases the body’s excretion of calcium. This could lead to loss of bone mass and osteoporosis.21 Diets high in salt appear to cause higher rates of infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, and salt has been shown to be associated with higher rates of stomach cancer.22 Salt also has been shown in numerous studies to be associated with asthma, and salt reduction can improve breathing.23 Some of these studies seem to indicate that salt has a stronger negative impact on the lungs of boys.24

The Forgotten Killer

There is good reason to refer to salt as “The Forgotten Killer.”25Although it is easy to get distracted with the other diet-related topics that dominate the headlines, high sodium levels can be deadly. Eating a healthful, plant-based diet composed of unprocessed, unsalted whole foods is the best weapon we have.


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