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Study Finds Stroke Victims Were Deficient in Vitamin C


c A recent study has found that eating foods rich in vitamin C may lower your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. While these strokes are much less common than ischemic strokes, the type caused by blood clots, they are more often fatal.

Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all strokes are caused by an intracerebral hemorrhage, the rupture of a blood vessel within the brain. The prognosis is grim, as the events are fatal to 34 percent within three months and 59 percent within one year.

Research Shows Stroke Victims Were Deficient in Vitamin C

In the study, which will be presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology later this year, researchers compared the vitamin C blood levels of two groups of 65 participants. The members of one group were healthy, and the members of the other group had suffered an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. In general, the findings showed those in the healthy group had normal levels of vitamin C, while those in the stroke group had depleted levels of the vitamin.

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The results were so compelling that author Stéphane Vannier, M.D., said vitamin C deficiency should be deemed a risk factor for this type of stroke because it appears to play as much of a role as other risks such as high blood pressure, alcohol consumption and being overweight. She recommends further research to explore specifically why vitamin C seems to be protective.

Live in the Now spoke with Rene Ficek, Lead Dietitian for Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating. She noted that although this was a small study, the findings appear on target with similar studies showing the effect of vitamin C on overall cardiovascular health. “Other research suggests the antioxidant action of vitamin C can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis, known as hardening of the arteries. This slowing of cholesterol buildup is an important mechanism for lowering your risk for a heart attack or stroke. The research illustrates the need to focus efforts on eating in a healthful manner, incorporating several servings of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C into the diet every day. Additionally, those who smoke are at greater risk for both vitamin C deficiency as well as stroke, so eating these foods are particularly important for them,” she said.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

Ficek provides the this list of excellent sources of vitamin C: oranges, green peppers, broccoli, watermelon, mango, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes, winter squash, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, pineapple and dark green leafy vegetables such as turnip greens and spinach.

“The vitamin C content of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking,” Ficek said. “Fortunately, many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, are usually eaten raw.”


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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