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Vitamin C may reduce stroke risk

February 24, 2014

According to a new study from France increased intakes of vitamin C may reduce the risk of developing hemorrhagic stroke.

The observational study compared blood vitamin C concentrations of 65 patients who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke with blood levels of 65 healthy participants (1). The study results showed that 41% of the participants had sufficient levels of vitamin C, 45% showed insufficient levels and 14% were considered vitamin C deficient. On average, the participants who had suffered a stroke had significantly lower levels of vitamin C, while those who had not had a stroke had normal levels of the vitamin.

The researchers commented that results of the study show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, along with high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being over- weight. Hemorrhagic stroke, or a blood vessel rupture inside the brain, is less common than ischemic stroke, but can often prove to be more fatal. More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure. Vitamin C deficiency has also been linked to coronary heart disease (2).

References

  1. Vannier S. et al. Can Citrus Ward Off Your Risk of Stroke? American Academy of Neurology. Published online February 2014.
  2. Osganian S. K. et al. Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003; 42(2):246-252.