Role of diet-related factors in cerebral aneurysm formation and rupture

Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2019;70(2):119-126. doi: 10.32394/rpzh.2019.0061.


Cerebral aneurysms (CAs) are dilations of the wall of an artery in the brain filled with blood. The prevalence of unrupted CA in general population is estimated at approximately 3%. Ruptured aneurysms are the cause of 85% of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) cases. The formation of cerebral aneurysms results from various factors, including chronic inflammation, hemodynamic stress and vascular wall remodeling. Reactive oxygen species may induce the endothelial dysfunction possibly through the activation of Nuclear Factor Kappa-B, which is a key regulator of the proinflammatory genes. Hypertension may additionally increase the hemodynamic stress and activate the local renin-angiotensin system. The aim of this review was to assess the role of selected diet-related factors in the formation and rupture of cerebral aneurysms. It appears that inadequate intake of dietary antioxidants, hyperhomocysteinemia, hypertension (including incidental elevated blood pressure) and alcohol consumption may increase the risk of intracranial aneurysms. Individuals at high risk of CA formation and/or rupture should consume adequate amounts of antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids), B vitamins (vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate), flavonoids and n-3 fatty acids, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption and regularly control their blood pressure. Vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, nuts and fish, as well as herbs, spices and tea, should be the major components of the daily diet. Due to the synergistic effect of various dietary components on health, Mediterranean diet or Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, as they meet abovementioned requirements and have high anti-inflammatory potential, are thus recommended for the prevention of cerebral aneurysm formation and rupture.

Keywords: cerebral aneurysm; diet; antioxidant intake; hypertension; hyperhomocysteinemia; alcohol consumption.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / physiopathology*
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / prevention & control
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors


  • Antioxidants