According to new research from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, high concentrations of vitamin C in the blood from the intake of fruit and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. The study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It is a well-known fact that fruits and vegetables are healthy but these findings now provide another good reason to increase their consumption. The Copenhagen General Population Study shows that a high intake of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and it may be due to Vitamin C.
During the study, the researchers examined data of about 100,000 Danes and their intake of fruit and vegetables as well as their DNA. The findings showed that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables had a 15% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death as compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables. The findings also showed that the reduced risk was related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C helps build connective tissue which supports and connects different types of tissues and organs in the body. It also works as a potent antioxidant and protects cells and biological molecules from the damage which causes many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Since the human body does not produce Vitamin C, it is essential to get it from diet.
"We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so. 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. 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," says Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
The researchers will continue to investigate other factors that could have an impact on cardiovascular disease.
Source: University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
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