Monday, February 24, 2014

Vitamin C can help reduce your risk of a stroke

vitamin C

Vitamin C is a necessary daily supplement for a number of reasons, but new data suggest that it can also cut your chances of suffering a stroke.

A new study that is set to be presented to a conference of experts later in the year indicates that eating foods rich in vitamin C -- oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, papaya, to name a few -- can reduce hemorrhagic stroke risks.

As reported by Medical News Today, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of the death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 795,000 Americans suffer from stroke annually; of that number, 130,000 die.

Doctors point out that there are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic, with the former by far being the most common.

In ischemic strokes, a blockage -- a clot, generally -- in a blood vessel stops the flow of blood from reaching one or more parts of the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are much more deadly, though more rare; they occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, thereby allowing blood to seep into the areas surrounding the brain.

"Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study," said study author Dr. Stephane Vannier, of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France.

Vannier and a team of researchers compared 65 patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke with 65 others who were healthy and had not suffered the condition. Researchers examined the vitamin C levels in both groups via blood samples. The results: 41 percent of all participants had normal vitamin C levels, 45 percent had depleted levels, and 14 percent had levels so low that they were considered vitamin C-deficient.

On average, the researchers found, participants who had experienced a stroke had depleted vitamin C levels, while those who had not retained normal levels in their blood.

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