(NaturalNews) Vitamin C is a necessary daily supplement for a number of reasons, but new data suggest that it can also cut your chances of suffering a stroke.
A new study that is set to be presented to a conference of experts later in the year indicates that eating foods rich in vitamin C -- oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, papaya, to name a few -- can reduce hemorrhagic stroke risks.
As reported by Medical News Today, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of the death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 795,000 Americans suffer from stroke annually; of that number, 130,000 die.
Doctors point out that there are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic, with the former by far being the most common.
In ischemic strokes, a blockage -- a clot, generally -- in a blood vessel stops the flow of blood from reaching one or more parts of the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are much more deadly, though more rare; they occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, thereby allowing blood to seep into the areas surrounding the brain.
"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 Dr. Stephane Vannier, of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France.
Vannier and a team of researchers compared 65 patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke with 65 others who were healthy and had not suffered the condition. Researchers examined the vitamin C levels in both groups via blood samples. The results: 41 percent of all participants had normal vitamin C levels, 45 percent had depleted levels, and 14 percent had levels so low that they were considered vitamin C-deficient.
On average, the researchers found, participants who had experienced a stroke had depleted vitamin C levels, while those who had not retained normal levels in their blood.
Early results are promising
Thus far, the team's results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but the American Academy of Neurology nonetheless plans to release details of the study to the media in advance of its 66th annual meeting, scheduled at the end of April in Philadelphia. There, additional details will be provided.
Vannier said more research would be needed in order to confirm his findings and to learn how vitamin C actually works to reduce stroke risk. He also said one way it might work is by reducing blood pressure. He also noted that vitamin C had other benefits, such as aiding in the production of collagen, a protein giving structure to skin, tissue and bones.
"If confirmed," Medical News Today reported, "the findings add to a growing body of evidence linking dietary factors to risk of stroke. In a study published in 2012, researchers found that consuming chocolate may lower risk of any stroke. They found men who ate the largest amounts of chocolate had a 17% lower risk of stroke than men who never or very rarely ate it."
As reported earlier by Natural News, vitamin C has many other health benefits:
-- Perhaps the best-known quality of the vitamin is its ability to boost the human immune system. But it is also good as an agent of detoxification [http://www.naturalnews.com].
--In the 19th and 20th centuries, doctors and researchers found that high doses of vitamin C -- like as much 1,000 times today's recommended daily allowances -- can treat a range of conditions and diseases [http://www.naturalnews.com].
--Why do high doses of vitamin C work? Hint: It's the ascorbic acid, say researchers. High-dose vitamin C even reportedly cured Dr. Andrew Saul, PhD, of pneumonia in just three hours (but you should always consult a nutritionist expert before trying such things yourself) [http://www.naturalnews.com].