Boosting vitamin C intake could prevent stroke

February 19, 2014 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Boosting vitamin C intake could prevent stroke

Eating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to new study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, kiwi, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

The majority – 80 percent – are ischemic strokes caused when a blood clot interrupts blood flow to the brain.  Hemorrhagic strokes, caused by uncontrolled bleeding in the brain, account for the remaining 20 percent of strokes.

The study involved 65 people who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, or a blood vessel rupture inside the brain. They were compared to 65 healthy people. Participants were tested for the levels of vitamin C in their blood. Forty-one percent of cases had normal levels of vitamin C, 45 percent showed depleted levels of vitamin C and 14 percent were considered deficient of the vitamin.

On average, the people who had a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C, while those who had not had a stroke had normal levels of the vitamin.

The researchers from the University Hospital in Rennes, France concluded the results suggest vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke. Other risk factors found in this study were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study.

More research is needed to explore how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. One way is that the vitamin may regulate blood pressure.

Previous research has linked vitamin C deficiency has also been linked to heart disease.

Source: American Academy of Neurology (AAN), February 2014.

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