A large study published last week in the journal PLoS Medicine involving 27,000 participants determined that individuals with a high risk of heart disease who consume a diet consisting mainly of raw vegetables, fruits and berries have a similar risk of heart attack as those who have no family history of the disease.
The 9p21 gene increases the risk of heart disease for those who carry it. But the research, headed by an international team of scientists at McGill University in Canada, found that a healthy diet could substantially reduce the harmful effect of the gene.
Genetic weaknesses can sometimes predict a certain amount of risk for a disease; however, genes are pliable and they can be influenced. Consuming a healthy diet and taking dietary supplements has a strong impact on supporting proper gene signaling – even when genes have certain mutations.
This research should act as a reminder that while lifestyle and genes can increase our risk for cardiovascular disease, the way they interrelate is also significant.
The results of the study “support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables (per day) as a way to promote good health.”