Individuals with high blood levels of vitamin C have significantly lower risk of stroke, according to a new study from Japan.
Researchers examined 880 men and 1,241 women in rural Japan. They divided the participants into four groups according to the level of vitamin C in their bloodstream. During a 20-year period, researchers found the risk of stroke was 70 percent higher among those in the group with the lowest vitamin C in their bloodstream compared to those in the highest group.
While vitamin C levels do rise in the bloodstream with vitamin C supplements, researchers say in the Japanese community where the study took place, the use of supplements is rare. Therefore, they cannot say if one can get the same benefit from a vitamin C supplement.
Besides vitamin C, researchers found a similar relationship with strokes and the number of days per week the participants ate fruits and vegetables. Their study showed the risk of stroke was 58 percent lower among those who consumed vegetables six to seven days a week, compared to those who at them only two days or less a week.
Vitamin C may be a marker for higher intake of other nutrients that protect against stroke. North Americans are recommended to eat at least 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, to not smoke, to avoid excess drinking and get regular physical activity.
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