Strokes are some of the most common medical conditions in the United States. So common, in fact, that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. Of these cases, 610,000 are classified as first or new strokes, while 185,000 — or nearly 1 of 4—are in people who have had a previous stroke.
Despite its regular occurrence, however, did you know that having healthy levels of vitamin C in your body can function as an effective preventive measure against strokes?
This is according to researcher Stéphane Vannier, MD of Rennes University Hospital in France, who conducted a study looking into the effects vitamin C had on stroke risk.
The study involved 65 people who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, which is a type of stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel inside the brain. The stroke patients, according to Vannier, were then compared to 65 healthy individuals, with both groups made to undergo blood tests that checked their vitamin C levels.
According to Vannier and the research team, their results showed that 41 percent of all participants had normal levels of vitamin C, while the other 45 percent had depleted levels of the vitamin. 14 percent of the individuals, as noted by the researchers, had levels so low they were considered “deficient” in the vitamin.
On average, however, the participants who had experienced a stroke were found to have depleted levels of vitamin C in their blood, while the ones who had not had a stroke had normal levels of the vitamin.
Vitamin C, according to Vannier, might help reduce your stroke risk by bringing your blood pressure to a more normal level, as well as by helping to make collagen, a protein that gives structure to skin, bones and other bodily tissues.
Vannier however, says additional research is still needed to confirm their findings, as well as to understand the mechanism behind the vitamin’s protective property against strokes.
Increase your vitamin C intake to support your health
Aside from helping to maintain your cardiovascular health, vitamin C is also linked to a host of other important health benefits, such as the following:
- Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system
- Vitamin C helps protect the body from chronic diseases
- Vitamin C helps protect the body against oxidative stress
According to experts, while taking vitamin C supplements is a convenient way to ensure that one gets the recommended amount of the vitamin into his system, it is actually not recommended.
“We actually don’t recommend using vitamin C supplementation when there is no deficiency,” Vannier said, adding that the best way to get enough vitamin C is through your diet. (Related: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can treat sepsis)
You can optimize your vitamin C levels by eating lots of fresh and organic whole food sources of vitamin C on a daily basis. These foods include the following:
- Organic citrus fruits
- Yellow and red bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Black currants
- Kiwi fruits
Known for being a potent antioxidant, vitamin C is one nutrient one should make sure is present in his diet in order to ensure optimal health and overall wellness.
For more stories about the healing potential of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, visit Nutrients.news.
- Lower heart attack and stroke risk by increasing your intake of this essential vitamin
- Heart attack survivors may benefit more from taking high-dose multivitamins than statins, suggests study
- Using Vitamin C for Heart Disease, Cancer and Cell Protection
- The 14 Best Vitamins & Supplements for Heart Health