Serum vitamin C concentration was inversely associated with subsequent 20-year incidence of stroke in a Japanese rural community. The Shibata study.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between vitamin C levels in the blood and the subsequent incidence of stroke. The study group included 880 Japanese men and 1,241 Japanese women aged 40 and above. None of the participants had previously suffered from stroke. At the beginning of the study, vitamin C blood levels were measured in all participants. The incidence of stroke was then documented over a period of 20 years. The researchers reported that the higher the vitamin C levels in the blood, the less the incidence of stroke. The study results suggest that vitamin C supplementation contributes to the prevention of stroke. Further details can be found in the study.
As in coronary artery disease, the underlying disease process for cerebrovascular disease –the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the brain – is arteriosclerosis. Here too, the process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of vitamins and other micronutrients. This leads to an underproduction of collagen and other reinforcement molecules in the artery walls and to the initiation of a repair process to compensate for the growing instability of these walls. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the neck (carotid) arteries or brain (cerebral) arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient artery wall. A stroke occurs when the already narrowed arteries are clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of brain cells is interrupted, causing permanent damage.
Yokoyama T, Date C, Kokubo Y, Yoshiike N, Matsumura Y, Tanaka H. Serum vitamin C concentration was inversely associated with subsequent 20-year incidence of stroke in a Japanese rural community. The Shibata study. Stroke. 2000 Oct;31(10):2287-94.