Citrus: the new anti-stroke food?

Eating citrus-rich foods may help reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to new research from the American Academy of Neurology.

The study's findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia between April 26 and May 3.

The authors note that while hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke, the former is often more deadly.

New risk factor potentially identified

Researchers analyzed 65 people who had experienced an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, or blood vessel rupture, inside the brain. These subjects were then compared to 65 healthy individuals. All of the study participants were tested for vitamin C levels in their blood. Forty-one percent had normal levels of vitamin C, 45 percent had depleted levels of the vitamin, and 14 percent were considered deficient in vitamin C.

Results showed that stroke patients, on average, were more likely to have depleted 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," said study author Stéphane Vannier, M.D., with Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France. "More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure."

Vannier also noted that vitamin C can have other beneficial effects, like assisting in collagen creation. Foods like oranges, peppers, papaya, broccoli, and strawberries are all rich in this key vitamin, which, according to other studies, may also help to prevent heart disease.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

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