A randomised crossover trial of the acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar or porridge on the cerebral vasculature

Dunn, W. G. and Walters, M. R. (2014) A randomised crossover trial of the acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar or porridge on the cerebral vasculature. Scottish Medical Journal, 59(4), pp. 182-187. (doi: 10.1177/0036933014552359)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0036933014552359


Introduction: The deep-fried Mars bar has been cited as ‘all that is wrong with the high-fat, high-sugar Scottish diet’. We investigated the effect of ingestion of a deep-fried Mars bar or porridge on cerebrovascular reactivity. We hypothesised that deep-fried Mars bar ingestion would impair cerebrovascular reactivity, which is associated with increased risk of ischaemic stroke.<p></p> Methods: Twenty-four fasted volunteers were randomised to receive a deep-fried Mars bar and then porridge (control), or vice-versa. We used transcranial Doppler ultrasound to calculate Breath Holding Index as a surrogate measure of cerebrovascular reactivity. Change in Breath Holding Index post-ingestion was the primary outcome measure.<p></p> Results: Twenty-four healthy adults (mean (SD) age 21.5 (1.7) years, 14 males) completed the protocol. Deep-fried Mars bar ingestion caused a non-significant reduction in cerebrovascular reactivity relative to control (mean difference in absolute Breath Holding Index after deep-fried Mars bar versus porridge −0.11, p = 0.40). Comparison of the difference between the absolute change in Breath Holding Index between genders demonstrated a significant impairment of cerebrovascular reactivity in males (mean difference women minus men of 0.65, 95% CI 0.30 to 1.00, p = 0.0003).<p></p> Conclusion: Ingestion of a bolus of sugar and fat caused no overall difference in cerebrovascular reactivity, but there was a modest decrease in males. Impaired cerebrovascular reactivity is associated with increased stroke risk, and therefore deep-fried Mars bar ingestion may acutely contribute to cerebral hypoperfusion in men.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Walters, Professor Matthew
Authors: Dunn, W. G., and Walters, M. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Scottish Medical Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2045-6441

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