Maintaining a diet with a high level of vitamin C could reduce a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and early death, according to the results of a new study. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined data on the diets of approximately 100,000 patients. The research team found that patients with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables had a 15% lower risk of developing CVD and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely ate these foods. The researchers determined that these decreased risks were due to high vitamin C concentrations resulting from fruit and vegetable consumption.
“We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so. Eating a lot of fruits 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,” said researcher Boerge Nordestgaard, MD, in a press release. “You can get vitamin C supplements, but it is a good idea to get your vitamin C by eating a healthy diet, which will, at the same time, help you to develop a healthier lifestyle in the long term, for the general benefit of your health.”
The study authors plan to follow up on their findings, with further research, to investigate additional factors that may contribute to cardiovascular health.