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More than five-a-day has no added benefit

Eating more than five pieces of fruit and vegetables per day does not lower the risk of premature mortality, research published in the BMJ has shown. 

Researchers found that eating five daily portions of fruit and veg is associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, particularly from cardiovascular disease, but over five portions has no additional effect. 

By looking at the results of sixteen studies involving a total of 833,234 participants and 56,423 deaths, researchers from China and the United States found that the risk of death from all causes is reduced by 5% for each additional daily serving of fruit and vegetables. 

The risk of death due to a cardiovascular cause was reduced by 4% for each additional daily fruit and vegetable serving. 

Eating more fruit and vegetables was not linked to the risk of death from cancer by the teams from Harvard School of Public Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 

Researchers said their 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.”

The findings contradict a recent study which suggested that seven or more daily portions of fruits and vegetables were linked to lowest risk of death.

Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies is available to view on the BMJ website