In the US alone, more than 800,000 people suffer from devastating strokes every year. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 150,000 Americans each year.
Many of these deaths are preventable through simple lifestyle and diet changes, such as eliminating processed foods in favor of healthy fruits and vegetables. Factors such as high blood pressure and arterial stiffening also increase the risk of a fatal ischemic event, which means regular exercise can help prevent stroke as well.
In addition, a diet that includes the recommended amount of vitamin C is now being praised for its ability to improve arterial elasticity, which can decrease your risk of suffering a stroke.
Researchers from the Pontchaillou University in France will soon release the results of their study to the American Academy of Neurology which show that eating foods high in vitamin C, including oranges, peppers, papaya, and broccoli could be linked to a decreased risk of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.
While the hemorrhagic stroke is the less common cause of the ailment when compared to the ischemic stroke, it is far more deadly and occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures, allowing blood to leak into and around the brain.
For their study, the French team analyzed 65 patients who experienced a hemorrhagic stroke and compared them with an age- and health-comparable group of 65 healthy counterparts. According to lead author Dr. Stephane Vannier, “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.”
After analyzing the vitamin C levels in the patients’ blood, the researchers found that 41% of the participants had normal levels, while 45% had depleted levels, and 14% had levels so low they were considered vitamin C deficient.
After following the patients for 10 years, the researchers concluded that the patients who had experienced a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C, while those who had not suffered a stroke had normal levels of vitamin C in their blood.