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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2008, Volume 87, Pages 64-69
"Plasma vitamin C concentrations predict risk of incident stroke over 10 y in 20 649 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer - Norfolk prospective population study".

This large European-based study suggests that increased blood levels of vitamin C may reduce the risk of stroke by 42%. Increased levels of the vitamin, associated with increased intake of fruit and vegetables, were found to offer significant cardiovascular benefits among the 20,649 men and women taking part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer.

One of the authors, Phyo Myint from the University of Cambridge, stated that blood levels of the vitamin could be used as a biological marker of lifestyle used to identify people at high risk of stroke. "An intriguing possibility is that the plasma vitamin C concentration is a good marker of a wider range of health behaviors, such as fruit and vegetable consumption, that may be protective against stroke," wrote Myint in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

When a stroke happens the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. In the US it is the leading cause of disability and the third leading cause of death. According to the American Stroke Association every 45 seconds someone will experience a stroke.

Researchers followed the subjects for 9.5 years and documented 448 strokes during this time. The subjects completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire at the start of the study, and blood samples were taken to measure vitamin C levels. The highest average blood levels of vitamin C were associated with a 42% lower risk of stroke, compared to the lowest average blood levels.

"Second, irrespective of any causal associations, plasma vitamin C appears to be a good predictive risk indicator of stroke, independent of known risk factors such as age, BP, smoking, lipids, diabetes, and BMI.

"Given that about half of the risk of stroke is unexplained by conventional cardiovascular disease risk factors and that the predictive validity of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors appears to diminish with age, risk markers that may help to identify those persons at greatest risk of stroke for targeted preventive interventions with established therapies, such as BP reduction, may be of interest."


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