Plant-based Diet Cuts Sleep Apnoea Risk by a Fifth, Study Shows

by Ella

A groundbreaking study published in ERJ Open Research reveals a significant correlation between dietary choices and the risk of sleep apnoea, offering potential insights into managing this common sleep disorder.

The research, led by Dr. Yohannes Melaku from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, suggests that adopting a healthy, plant-based diet may reduce the risk of sleep apnoea by approximately 20%. Analyzing data from 14,210 participants in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers observed that individuals who consumed higher quantities of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts were 19% less likely to suffer from sleep apnoea compared to those with lower intake of plant-based foods.


Interestingly, the study also identified differences in the effectiveness of a plant-based diet between men and women, with men experiencing a greater reduction in sleep apnoea risk compared to women.


Sleep apnoea, characterized by narrowed airways during sleep leading to breathing difficulties, has long been associated with various factors including obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Symptoms commonly include loud snoring, interrupted breathing, and gasping or choking sounds upon waking.


Dr. Melaku highlights the importance of personalized dietary interventions for individuals with sleep apnoea, emphasizing the role of a healthy diet in reducing inflammation and obesity, both of which are known risk factors for the condition.


The study categorized food groups into healthy plant foods (such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, tea, and coffee), less healthy plant foods (including refined grains, potatoes, sugary drinks, and desserts), and animal foods (such as animal fat, dairy, eggs, and meat). Participants also completed a questionnaire assessing their likelihood of suffering from sleep apnoea.

Commenting on the findings, Prof. Sophia Schiza, head of the European Respiratory Society’s assembly on sleep-disordered breathing, stresses the importance of incorporating a diverse range of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into one’s diet while minimizing consumption of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks. She emphasizes the need to make healthy eating accessible to all individuals as a means of improving overall health and potentially reducing the risk of sleep apnoea.

Overall, this research underscores the significant impact of dietary choices on sleep apnoea risk and underscores the potential benefits of adopting a plant-based diet for individuals susceptible to this sleep disorder.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023