Vitamin C and Stroke Prevention by Jeffrey Dach
Recently, a friend of mine was hospitalized after a sudden paralysis of the arm and leg which was found to be a stroke on his CAT scan. He is about my age and was previously healthy with no risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking or obesity. Thankfully, he recovered quickly and back to normal at home.
Why did he get a stroke? What is a stroke and how can it be prevented?
There are two kinds of stroke, the first kind is ischemic which means the blood flow is blocked off by a clot or plug, and the second kind is a hemorrhagic stroke which means a small crack in the artery leaks blood into the surrounding brain. 731 000 of these strokes occur annually in the United States. Even though heart attack and stroke really have the same cause which is atherosclerotic vascular disease, they are considered two separate diseases.
Stroke prevention by the medical system usually consists of blood thinners such as aspirin, coumadin, or anti-platelet drugs which prevent clot formation. These are usually started after the first stroke in hopes of preventing a second stroke.
A more important preventive measure which your doctor will usually neglect to inform you about is the role of Vitamin C in stroke prevention. Vitamin C is cheap, pennies a day, so there is no financial incentive to recommend it.
Here are two of many recent studies published in the peer reviewed medical literature showing Vitamin C is very beneficial in reducing the risk of stroke. Here are two studies.
This first study was carried out in rural Japan, and blood levels of Vitamin C were measured in 880 men and 1,241 women ages 40 and older who were initially stroke-free. During the 20-year observation period, 196 strokes occurred, and the villagers in the highest quartile of serum Vitamin C had 70 per cent fewer strokes. (1)
A second study done in Finland and published in Stroke in 2002 also showed similar results. (2) Researchers tested blood levels of vitamin C in about 2,400 Finnish men aged 42 to 60 to see if blood levels of vitamin C could be correlated with stroke risk. Results showed men whose blood levels of vitamin C fell into the lowest quarter had a 2.4 times greater risk of stroke than those in the highest quarter. Men with high blood pressure or those who were overweight had even higher risk if they also had low blood levels of the vitamin, 2.6 and 2.7 times, respectively.
How does Vitamin C work to make our arteries stronger? The arteries are made of a connective tissue substance called Collagen, and vitamin C is the key nutrient for collagen synthesis.
Now that you are convinced that Vitamin C is beneficial in preventing stroke, perhaps you might think that we all get enough vitamin C in our diets. Well, a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health says otherwise. The study included 15,769 participants ranging in age from 12 to 74 years and found a distressing 10 percent of women and 14 percent of men to be deficient in Vitamin C. (3)
How much Vitamin C is enough?
These are the different recommendations depending on the source:
Daily Vitamin C Source
60-95 mg U.S. Government RDA
200 mg Levin/NIH
400 mg Linus Pauling Institute
2500 mg Hickey/Roberts
4000 mg Robert Cathcart MD III
6-12 g Thomas E Levy, MD, PHD
All animals with the exception of primates (humans), the guinea pig and the fruit bat make their own vitamin C from glucose. We humans lack the final enzyme step needed. However, on an equivalent-weight basis with animals that can synthesize their own vitamin C, healthy adult humans would produce internally from 2 to 4 grams (2,000 to 4,000 milligrams) of vitamin C daily.
Primates such as gorillas which also cannot make their own vitamin C consume approximately 3 to 4 grams of vitamin C daily (calculated on a "human-weight basis").
Determining how much supplemental vitamin C will meet your individual requirements is fairly easy using a tolerance-test
technique developed by Dr. Cathcart. (4)
The tolerance test
starts with a dose of 2 grams of vitamin C per day. Then, slowly increase your dose each day until you start
experiencing excess gas or loose bowels. At that point, your body isn't absorbing or able to use that much, so you should scale back to the largest amount that doesn't produce these symptoms.
The vitamin C at the health food store is only half real vitamin C. There are two types of Vitamin C, the L isomer is biologically active, and the R isomer is Not active. The Vitamin C you buy at the health food store is a mixture of half L and half R, so half of it is biologically inactive!!!.
To avoid the inactive Vitamin C problem, use a 100% L isomer Vitamin C powder which is buffered to PH neutral from Perque Vitamins. The cost is about 5 cents a day. In terms of medical prevention bang for the buck, you can’t beat it.
(1) Stroke. 2000;31:2287.American Heart Association, Inc. Serum Vitamin C Concentration Was Inversely Associated With Subsequent 20-Year Incidence of Stroke in a Japanese Rural Community The Shibata Study Full text http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/co...ull/31/10/2287
(2) Plasma Vitamin C Modifies the Association Between Hypertension and Risk of StrokeStroke, 2002;33:1568-1573 S. Kurl, MD; T.P. Tuomainen, MD; J.A. Laukkanen, MD; K. Nyyssönen, PhD; http://stroke.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/33/6/1568.pdf
(3) Hampl JS, Taylor CA, Johnston CS. "Vitamin C deficiency and
depletion in the United States: the Third National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 to 1994." Am J Public Health
2004; 94(5): 870-875
(4) Cathcart RF. "Vitamin C, Titrating To Bowel Tolerance, Anascorbemia, and Acute Induced Scurvy." Medical Hypotheses 1981; 7: 1,359-1,376 http://www.orthomed.com/titrate.htm
More vitamin C references:
Thomas Levy MD on Vitamin C http://tomlevymd.com/vcone.htm
Linus Pauling Institute References for Vitamin C http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocente...inC/crefs.html
Knekt P, et al. "Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts." Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 80(6): 1,508-1,520. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/80/6/1508
Klenner FR. “The Treatment of Poliomyelitis and Other Virus Diseases with Vitamin C.” Southern Medicine & Surgery 1949: 209 http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorba...11-n7-p209.htm
Ascorbic Acid and Some Other Modern Analogs of the Germ Theory. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 1999; Vol 14 (3): 143-56. John T. A. Ely, Ph.D.Radiation Studies, Box 351310 University of WashingtonSeattle, WA 98195 http://faculty.washington.edu/ely/JOM4.html
Publications by Robert F. Cathcart MD http://www.orthomed.com/publications1.html