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Low Vitamin C Levels Linked To Deadly Strokes

Update Date: Feb 15, 2014 12:09 PM EST

Loading up on vitamin C may help cut the risk of stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people who ate higher amounts of foods like oranges, papayas, peppers and broccoli that contained vitamin C were less likely to suffer hemorrhagic stroke.

The latest study compared 65 people who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, or a blood vessel rupture inside the brain, to 65 healthy people. Researchers collected blood samples from participants and analyzed the levels of vitamin C.

The findings revealed that 41 percent of participants had normal levels of vitamin C, 45 percent had lower levels of vitamin C, and 14 percent were considered deficient of vitamin C.

The findings revealed that people who had a stroke had lower levels of vitamin C. In contrast, healthy participants who had not suffered stroke had normal levels of vitamin C.

"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," study author Dr. Stéphane Vannier, of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France, said in 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 findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in late April. 

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