Five Servings of Fruits, Vegetables Can Lower Deaths: Study

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By Smitha Nambiar | August 6, 2014 4:38 PM EST

Consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables can lower death risks, says a new study conducted by researchers from China and USA. The results, published in the British Medical Journal aimed to find out the "dose response" or how much we need to eat in connection with cancer, heart illnesses and death.

REUTERS/Tony Gentile
A combination photo shows local fruits in a market in Recife

While previous studies have indicated that eating more fruits and vegetables can lower risks of deaths, especially from cancer and cardiovascular diseases, a few researchers from China and US, after a thorough study, have collected enough evident to conclude that consuming five portions of fruits and vegetables is enough to lower the risk of premature death. It was found during the course of the study that intake of each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables led to an average of 5 per cent reduction in death risk and 4 per cent reduction in cardiovascular risk.

During the 24 years of study, 56,423 deaths were reported, (11,512 from heart ailments and 16,817 from cancer) and while the researchers analysed and studied the pattern, they found a very strong link between higher intake of fruits and vegetables and lower risk of deaths, mainly from cardiovascular illnesses.

At the same time, it was also found that having more than five servings of fruits and vegetables did not help in lowering deaths or curbing diseases. This finding is in stark contrast to an earlier study by researchers led by Oyinlola Oyebode of University College, London, which said that consuming at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of death from heart ailments, stroke and cancer by as much as 42 per cent.

"This study provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular diseases. The results support current recommendations to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to promote health and longevity," said the researchers in a press statement.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Tony Gentile / )
A combination photo shows local fruits in a market in Recife
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