High glycemic load linked to cerebral small vessel diseases


A recent study suggests that a high dietary glycemic load (GL) is linked to the presence and burden of cerebral small vessel diseases in people who experienced a stroke. The article, which was published in the journal Nutrition Research, looked at the effect of high glycemic load and glycemic index (GI) on the presence of cerebral small vessel diseases in people with acute stroke.

  • Cerebral small vessel diseases are closely associated with stroke. Having elevated blood sugar after a meal is also a crucial risk factor for stroke.
  • Dietary GL and GI are often used as markers of postprandial blood glucose response and the overall glycemic effect of the diet.
  • Researchers at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea hypothesized that high dietary GL or GI will be associated with the presence of cerebral small vessel diseases in people with acute stroke.
  • To test this hypothesis, they recruited 263 individuals who had experienced, for the first time, symptomatic stroke within seven days after the first symptom appeared.
  • All participants also completed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.
  • The researchers also examined the presence and burden of high-grade white matter hyperintensities (HWMHs), cerebral microbleeds (CMBs), high-grade perivascular spaces (HPVSs) and asymptomatic lacunar infarctions (ALIs) – all of which are forms of subclinical cerebrovascular disease and typical consequences of cerebral small vessel diseases.
  • The results showed that high dietary GL was independently associated with an increased risk of the presence of HWMHs, CMBs, PVSs, and ALIs.

These findings suggest that high dietary GL may increase the risk of cerebral small vessel diseases in people who had a stroke.

To read more studies on preventing the complications of a stroke, visit Brain.news.

Journal Reference:

Song TJ, Chang Y, Kim AR, Kim Y, Kim YJ. HIGH DIETARY GLYCEMIC LOAD WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRESENCE AND BURDEN OF CEREBRAL SMALL VESSEL DISEASES IN ACUTE ISCHEMIC STROKE PATIENTS. Nutrition Research. March 2018; 51: 93-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.12.009



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