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Vitamin C helps you stay alive; fruit and vegetable study

Aug 18, 2015

Vitamin C helps you stay alive; fruit and vegetable study

     Researchers at the University of Copenhagen analyzed health information of 87,030 men and women enrolled in the Copenhagen General Population Study and 10,173 participants in the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The level of Vitamin C in blood plasma was measured in an additional 3,512 newly recruited individuals and the approximate amount of Vitamin C in the diet was available for 83,256 of the subjects.

The level of Vitamin C was connected to a lowered risk of developing heart disease or dying from it. Ischemic heart disease was diagnosed in 10,123 individuals and there were 8,477 deaths over the studies' follow-up period. “We can see that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have a 15% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables," lead author Camilla Kobylecki, a medical doctor at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital states in an interview. "At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables."

"We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so, noted co-researcher Boerge Nordestgaard, who is a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.  "Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is a natural way of increasing vitamin C blood levels, which in the long term may contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death." The study appears in the June 2015 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.