Posts Tagged ‘stroke prevention’

How Vitamin C and Iron Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Vitamin C and Iron for Stroke

Are your vitamin C and iron levels increasing your risk for stroke?

Here at Wholesale Nutrition, we highly value valid research related to vitamins and supplements. We are continually impressed with the reports from Dr. Mercola at and would like to share some of their content with you from time to time. We hope you find it as fascinating as we do!

By Dr. Mercola

Stroke, which is akin to a heart attack in your brain, is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.1 Obstructed blood flow to your brain is known as an ischemic stroke, which represent about 75 percent of all strokes. When an artery that feeds your brain with blood actually ruptures, it’s called a hemorrhagic stroke, and this is a far more lethal situation.

Fortunately, up to 80 percent of all strokes are preventable through lifestyle factors2 such as diet, exercise,3, 4 maintaining a healthy weight, normalizing your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and quitting smoking.

For example, research published last year5 found that if you’re inactive, you have a 20 percent higher risk for having a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) than people who exercise enough to break a sweat at least four times a week.

Recent studies also highlight the importance of getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C and iron in your diet. Interestingly, certain weather conditions have also been linked to increased rates of stroke, and getting appropriate amounts of sun exposure can help protect against it, in more ways than one.

Getting Enough Vitamin C May Help Reduce Risk of Hemorrhagic Stroke

The first featured article6 reports the preliminary findings of a French study, which found that those with vitamin C deficiency are at an increased risk for a lethal hemorrhagic stroke. According to the article:

“‘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 researcher Dr. Stéphane Vannier, M.D., of Pontchaillou University Hospital in France, said in a statement.

‘More research is needed to explore specifically how vitamin C may help to reduce stroke risk. For example, the vitamin may regulate blood pressure.’ …[P]ast studies have also linked vitamin C with reduced stroke risk.

A 2008 University of Cambridge study found people with high blood levels of vitamin C reduced their stroke risk by 42 percent, and a similar 1995 study in the British Medical Journal indicated elderly people with low levels of the vitamin had a greater risk of stroke.”

What’s the Best Way to Optimize Your Vitamin C?

The ideal way to optimize your vitamin C stores is by eating a wide variety of fresh whole foods. A number of people, primarily with the naturopathic perspective, believe that in order to be truly effective, ascorbic acid alone is not enough.

They believe the combination of the ascorbic acid with its associated micronutrients, such as bioflavonoids and other components. Eating a colorful diet (i.e. plenty of vegetables) helps ensure you’re naturally getting the phytonutrient synergism needed.

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting enough vegetables in your diet is by juicing them. For more information, please see my juicing page. You can also squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into some water for a vitamin C rich beverage.

When taking an oral vitamin C, you also want to be mindful of your dosing frequency. Dr. Steve Hickey, who wrote the book Ascorbate, has shown that if you take vitamin C frequently throughout the day, you can achieve much higher plasma levels.

So even though your kidneys will tend to rapidly excrete the vitamin C, by taking it every hour or two, you can maintain a much higher plasma level than if you just dose it once a day (unless you’re taking an extended release form of vitamin C).

Iron Deficiency Can Raise Stroke Risk in Certain Individuals

Recent research also suggests that iron deficiency can increase your risk of ischemic stroke if you have hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a hereditary disease that causes enlarged blood vessels in your lungs. Iron deficiency increases the stickiness of your blood, which increases your risk of blood clots, and in those with this genetic abnormality, such clots can travel through your lungs and into your brain.

According to the study in question, published in the journal PLOS One,7 even having moderately low iron levels can double your stroke risk if you have this condition. According to the researchers, other health conditions may also permit blood clots to bypass the filtration system of your lungs. Study author Dr. Claire Shovlin stated that:

“The next step is to test whether we can reduce high-risk patients’ chances of having a stroke by treating their iron deficiency. We will be able to look at whether their platelets become less sticky. There are many additional steps from a clot blocking a blood vessel to the final stroke developing, so it is still unclear just how important sticky platelets are to the overall process. We would certainly encourage more studies to investigate this link.”

Continue reading about stroke prevention at .



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