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People who follow a plant-based diet have less obstructive sleep apnea: study health news


People who eat a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts are less likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study published in ERJ Open Research. People who eat an unhealthy plant-based diet rich in refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks and high-sugar, high-salt foods are more likely to develop OSA. People with OSA often snore loudly, their breathing starts and stops throughout the night, and they may wake up multiple times. It not only causes fatigue, but can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The new study is one of the first large-scale analyzes to investigate the correlation between a plant-based diet and OSA risk. Researchers say the findings suggest that eating a healthy, plant-based diet may help prevent or treat OSA. The study was conducted by Dr. Yohannes Melaku of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He says, “Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea may stem from genetics or behavior, including diet. Previous studies have focused primarily on the effects of calorie restriction, specific dietary components, and weight loss. There is a gap in our knowledge of how overall dietary patterns influence OSA.” influences risk. With this study, we wanted to address that gap and explore the relationship between different types of plant-based diets and the risk of OSA.”

The study included data from 14,210 people who were participating in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were asked to describe what they had eaten over the past 24 hours. The researchers categorized the data by whether people were eating a healthy plant-based diet (including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, tea and coffee) or eating a diet high in animal foods (including animal fats, dairy, eggs, fish). or seafood and meat). They also looked at whether people were eating an unhealthy, plant-based diet (including refined grains, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, desserts and salty foods).

Participants also answered a questionnaire designed to measure their likelihood of developing OSA. People with the highest intake of a plant-based diet were 19% less likely to develop OSA than those with the lowest intake of a plant-based diet. Those who ate a largely vegetarian diet were also at lower risk. However, those who ate more unhealthy plant-based foods had a 22 percent higher risk than those who ate less of these foods.

The researchers also found differences in risk between women and men, with a plant-based diet having a stronger association with OSA risk for men and an unhealthy plant-based diet greatly increasing the risk for women. “These findings highlight the importance of diet quality in managing the risk of OSA. These gender differences are important to note because they emphasize the need for personalized dietary interventions for individuals with OSA,” said Dr. Melaku. This study does not. Tell us why diet is important, but it may be that a healthy plant-based diet reduces inflammation and obesity. These are the main risk factors for OSA. “Diets rich in anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants and low in harmful ones can affect fat mass, inflammation and even muscle tone, all of which are relevant to OSA risk.”

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The researchers now plan to investigate links between eating ultra-processed foods and OSA risk in the same group of people. They want to study the interaction between diet and OSA risk in the long term. Professor Sofia Skiza, based at the University of Crete in Greece, heads the European Respiratory Society’s Assembly on Sleep-Disordered Breathing and was not involved in the study. He says, “Obstructive sleep apnea is a frequently occurring condition, and despite the associated risks, a significant number of individuals remain unaware of their diagnosis. Treatments are available for OSA, and patients can take specific steps to improve their condition. Avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

“The results of this study suggest that changing our diet may be beneficial in managing or avoiding OSA. Being aware that including a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains in our diet, while reducing our consumption of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks can go a long way. . improve our overall health. We need to make it as easy as possible for everyone to eat healthy.”

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