Low Vitamin C Levels May Increase Stroke Risk

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

PHILADELPHIAEating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce the risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a new study to 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, papaya, peppers, broccoli and strawberries. Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke, but is more often deadly.

Researchers at the University of Rennes evaluated 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% showed depleted levels of vitamin C and 14% 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.

"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 Stéphane Vannier, M.D., with Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France. "More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure."

In another recent study, the flavonoid naringenin, a component found naturally in grapefruit and other citrus fruits, successfully blocked the formation of kidney cysts.

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