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Vitamin C may help prevent stroke

Monday - 2/17/2014, 9:09am  ET

Oranges.jpg
Researchers in France say Vitamin C somehow cuts the risk of bleeding in the brain. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Eating foods loaded with Vitamin C could help prevent a kind of stroke

WTOP's Paula Wolfson reports

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WASHINGTON -- That morning glass of orange juice may just be a powerful weapon to prevent stroke.

Researchers in France say Vitamin C somehow cuts the risk of bleeding in the brain -- what is commonly known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

In a small study, a team at Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes compared the stats of 65 people who had suffered an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke with 65 healthy people.

They found the stroke sufferers tended to be Vitamin C deficient, and had much lower C levels overall than the control group.

Hemorrhagic strokes, which occurs when blood vessels rupture deep in the brain, only account for about 15 percent of all strokes. But they are usually deadlier than the more common ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel is blocked.

The researchers say they aren't exactly sure why Vitamin C lowers the risk of bleeding in the brain. But they suggest the link may have something to do with regulating blood pressure.

They also say diet is a far better way to get C than through supplements, and people with sufficient levels in their body don't need to take extra.

Vitamin C is plentiful in many fruits and vegetables, including all citrus, strawberries, papaya, broccoli and peppers.

The French study will be formally presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, which begins on April 26th in Philadelphia.

Read more medical information about strokes.

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