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Vitamin C a day may keep hemorrhagic stroke away

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Researchers say that eating food rich in vitamin C can keep the risk of stroke at bay.

Vitamin C is usually found in fruits and vegetables such as papaya, oranges, strawberry, pepper and more. French researchers conducted a study and found that deficiency of vitamin C may put people at a higher risk of bleeding in the brain, which is also called hemorrhagic stroke.

The study's lead author Dr. Stephane Vannier, from Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, says that about 15 percent of all strokes are hemorrhagic strokes and they usually are more dangerous than ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked.

The researchers also indicate that vitamin C lowers blood pressure and maintains the health of blood vessels. Vannier says that the research found an association between vitamin C levels and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke; however, the latest study did not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Vannier also points out that the findings provide the rationale for testing the effectiveness of vitamin C supplements to prevent brain bleeds. However, he does not recommend the intake of vitamin C supplements at this point but suggests people should get vitamin C through their diet.

The study involved 65 people who had previously suffered hemorrhagic stroke compared with 65 healthy people. Blood samples of the total participants indicated that 41 percent had normal vitamin C levels, 45 percent had depleted vitamin C levels and 14 percent were deficient in vitamin C.

The researchers say that people who have had a stroke had depleted levels of vitamin C in the body. However, healthy people had normal vitamin C levels on an average. The study revealed that a depleted level of vitamin C was also linked to longer hospitalizations but not a higher risk of death.

However, the researchers suggest that they were not sure how much stroke risk can be attributed due to the deficiency of vitamin C.

Dr. Ken Uchino, a stroke specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, indicates that other studies will also have to confirm the possible relation between vitamin C levels in the body and brain bleeding. Dr. Uchino says that the deficiency of vitamin C in a person may cause scurvy, which can cause gum bleeding. He also says that vitamin C deficiency also points towards an overall unhealthy lifestyle of a person, which puts the person at risk of a stroke.

The researchers will present the results of the study at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held in Philadelphia from April 26 to May 3 this year.

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