This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Researchers from the Pontchaillou University Hospital in France have found that eating foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, peppers, strawberries, papaya and broccoli, may reduce the risk for hemorrhagic stroke.
While a hemorrhagic stroke, the kind of stroke that occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures, is less common than an ischemic stroke, the kind of stroke that results when an obstruction that prevents blood flow to the brain, it is far more deadly.
Study authors announced the results of their research to The American Academy of Neurology, explaining that the risk of hemorrhagic stroke was lower among individuals with normal blood levels of vitamin C compared to individuals with a vitamin C deficiency.
To conduct this study, team members analyzed 65 patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke and contrasted with an age and health comparable group of 65 healthy counterparts.
After an analysis of vitamin C blood levels, the scientists found that 41 percent of all participants had normal levels, 45 percent had depleted levels, and 14 percent had levels so low they were considered deficient in vitamin C.
Vitamin C Improves Vascular Elasticity to Lower Stroke Risk
After following the participant group over the course of 10 years, researchers determined that the participants who had experienced a stroke had depleted vitamin C levels, while the ones who had not suffered a stroke had normal levels of vitamin C in their blood.
In support of their findings, the team noted that a 2008 University of Cambridge study found people with high blood levels of vitamin C reduced their stroke risk by 42 percent. They also cited a 2012 study indicating that consuming chocolate may lower risk of any stroke. That research found men who ate the largest amounts of chocolate had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke than men who never or very rarely ate it.
Getting Enough Vitamin C Daily Reduces Stroke Risk
Lead author, Dr. Stephane Vannier noted, “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.””
Dr. Vannier concluded that “one way vitamin C might reduce stroke risk could be by reducing blood pressure, and he adds that vitamin C has other benefits, like helping to make collagen, a protein that gives structure to skin, bones and tissue.”
Most citrus fruits and vegetables supply healthy amounts of vitamin C to the diet, and most studies have found that supplementing with vitamin C (1,500 to 3,000 mg per day) dramatically lowers the risk of vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.