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Vitamin C Intake Linked with Lower Stroke Risk

Feb 15, 2014 05:48 AM EST

A new study suggests that foods high in vitamin C can lower stroke risk.

Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for about 13 percent of all stroke cases. The condition occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills in the surrounding area.

The small study was based on data from 135 people, of which 65 people had suffered from a blood vessel rupture in the brain- intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. Researchers looked at the levels of vitamin C in participants' blood.

Researchers found that 41 percent of the participants had normal levels of vitamin C while 45 had low levels of the vitamin and 14 percent were deficient of the vitamin.

People who had lower levels of vitamin were more likely to have suffered from a stroke than people with high levels of the vitamin, researchers found.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, meaning that the body doesn't store it and therefore must be acquired from the diet. The vitamin is important for maintenance of skin, bones and teeth.

Adults need to take about 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C every day. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits have high amounts of vitamin C. Broccoli, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, sweet and white potatoes are also rich in the vitamin, according to Office of Dietary Supplements.  

"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, MD, with Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France, according to a news release. "More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure."

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

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