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Suzanne Sutton

Prevent Strokes

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Suzanne Sutton    3
Suzanne Sutton

Fruit and Vegetables Ward Off Strokes

Western diets rich in red and processed meats, refined grains, and sweets are associated with more strokes, according to an important study that examined overall dietary patterns and stroke risk.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated the diets of over 70,000 female nurses, ages 38 to 63 for a period of 14 years. After considering various lifestyle factors, the researchers found that those eating the most foods from the "Western" diet pattern had a 58% greater risk for any type of stroke. Those eating the most whole grains, fruits, veggies, and other low-fat foods had the most protection from this devastating disorder. --Stroke 2004:35-2014-9.

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Suzanne Sutton

This article appeared in the AARP Bulletin, March 2003:

What You Don't Know About Strokes Can Hurt You

The people at the highest risk for stroke--men, individuals age 75 or older and African Americans--know the least about warning signs or factors that raise the chances of stroke.

Women, for instance, were 71% more likely than men to know at least one warning sign.

The findings come from telephone interviews researchers from the University of Cincinnati conducted with over 2,100 men and women.

Warnings for stroke tend to appear suddenly They include numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, often on one side of the body; trouble speaking; trouble seeing; dizziness; confusion; loss of coordination; and headache.

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, heart disease, previous stroke, heavy alcohol use, high cholesterol and diabetes.

This study was published in the January 15, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Comment: Let us not forget the preventive measures that can and should be implemented as we encourage our people to take better care of their health.

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Suzanne Sutton

Daily Burger, Fries: A Recipe for Stroke

Eating a double cheeseburger and a large order of french fries every day can increase the risk of stroke by 65%, according to researchers. That menu selection contains about 65 grams of fat.

Researchers also found that 4,000 mg of salt a day increases stroke risk by nearly 90%. Eating that much salt daily is easy according to Armistead D. Williams III, MD, who notes that a personal pizza contains at least 2,400 mg of sodium. Indeed in a study he conducted the participants ate more than 4,000 mg of sodium daily.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in this country, and leaves many other with disabling problems, such as paralysis or inability to speak clearly.

Various studies have shown that people who eat the most amount of fat have the highest stroke risk, according to Halina White, MA, a postgraduate research fellow at Columbia Univeristy Medical Center. Those who eat more than the American Heart Association's recommendation of 65 grams of fat had a 64% increase in stroke risk compared with those who ate less than 65 grams of fat. Halina White points out that 65 grams of fat "is equal to a large fries and a double cheeseburger."

Regarding salt, Dr. Williams, a neurology resident at Columbia University, notes the AHA recommends that its intake be limited to 2,400 mg a day, which is a little more than a teaspoon. Those eating more than 4,000 mg of salt daily increased their stroke risk by 90% compared with those eating 2,400 mg or less, notes Dr. Williams.

High salt intake, of course, is associated with high blood pressure which is a risk factor for stroke. However Dr. Williams says his studies show the increased stroke risk was seen regardless of blood pressure.

These and other studies continue to show that individuals have it in their power to take control of their own health. The importance of this cannot be underestimated.

Source: American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2005, New Orleans, Feb. 2-4, 2005.

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Suzanne Sutton

Some Strokes Whisper

Researchers already know that about 10% of middle-aged folk have "silent" strokes, tiny attacks that produce brain damage visible on an MRI but are not substantial enough to cause obvious symptoms. A new study has found that people with such damage perform worse on certain tests of mental and physical agility. That makes standard stroke prevention, including such steps as lowering blood pressure and getting checked for abnormal heart rhythms and clogged neck vessels, more important than ever. And consider talking with your doctor if you've had recent changes in memory or cognition.--Consumer Reports on Health, April 2008.

Comment: All the more reason to implement the various preventive measures previously mentioned in this thread.

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Older people who have trouble staying awake during the day have a greatly increased risk of suffering a stroke, according to a Columbia University study.

Researchers tracked more than 2,000 older adults for 30 months, noting their daytime napping habits. The results were surprising. Those who experienced "significant dozing" were four-and-a-half times more likely to have a stroke compared to those who stayed awake.

Those who did "some dozing" during the day had a 2.6 times greater risk of stroke. Study head Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala advises that seniors who have trouble staying awake during the day should be evaluated for sleep problems, including sleep apnea.

--Suzanne

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Suzanne Sutton

Are You Headed for a Stroke?

Older women who find themselves walking more and more slowly should check with their doctors--they could be on the path to a stroke.

Researchers made a study of 13,000 postmenopausal women and found that those with the slowest walking speeds are at a 69% greater risk of having a stroke over the next 5 years compared to those with faster gaits.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers believe older adults who are slow walkers may have small areas of brain tissue damage where blood flow is impaired.

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Stroke-Busting C

Pile your plate high with vitamin-C-rich foods to slash your stroke risk. UK researchers tracked more than 20,000 people for almost 10 years. Those who ate the most vitamin C had a 42% lower risk of stroke than folk who ate the least. Because the body does not store vitamin C, we need some every day. Fruits and veggies are the best source. --Prevention, June 2008.

Comment: Natural vitamin C supplements are also available.

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Repeat Stroke Info

After heart disease and cancer strokes kill more in the U.S. than any other cause. Strokes also give rise to significant disability. Even so, some may be unaware that they may be at risk. Tipically, a stroke happens when blood clots cut off cirulation to the brain. Most strokes happen to people age 65 or older. But a stroke can happen at any age. Women face extra risks. In a study in Neuroloty, women ages 45 to 54 were more than twice as likely to report to have had a stroke than were mehn in that age group.

It you've had a "mini-stroke," or transient ischemic attack (TIA), you are especially at risk for a full-blown stroke. This temporary blackage to the brain causes stroke symptoms that disappear within minutes or hours. One in 3 people who suffers a TIA will have a full-fledged stroke--often within a year and most likely within 3 months.

Here are other signs you may be at risk for a stroke:

* High blood pressure. 9 out of 10 stroke patients have high blood pressure. You can lower yours by eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, cutting back on high-sodium foods, limiting your use of table salt, shedding excess weight, and getting plenty of exercise.

* High cholesterol levels. To lower them, cut out saturated fat in youir diet. Foods high in saturated fats include many meats and full-fat dairy products.

* Diabetes. This disease triples your stroke risk. If you have diabetes, be sure to keep your blood sugar within healthy ranges.

* Smoking. Tobacco use doubles stroke risk. --Well-Being, April-May 2009.

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Suzanne Sutton

Strokes Can Hit Younger People Too

The news that Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, age 41, recently suffered a mild stroke probably came as a surprise to many, considering that the son of Vice President Joe Biden is relatively young, trim and in seemingly good health. It shouldn' have.

Strokes are not unheard-of in people that age, according to Dr. David S. Liebeskind, associate director of the UCLA Stroke Center. "It doesn't surprise me at all," he said. "Overall, the perception is that only older people have strokes, but we see a lot of people who have strokes at that age, even younger sometimes."

A mild stroke could be caused by a number of things, he said, including a tear in the wall of one of the major arteries leading to the brain, causing a blockage. That could be due to arterial structural abnormalities, or from stress put on the arteries caused by a sudden twisting movement.

"Sometimes it can occur with trauma as severe as whiplash, he said, "or something like a tennis serve or a particular swimming movement or other sporting activities."

General stroke symptoms can include numbness or weakness on one side of the body, loss of speech, imbalance, trouble with speaking, or a sudden, severe headache.

A mild stroke can also be caused by a blood clot, which Liebeskind said, can occur anywhere in the circulatory system, cutting off blood flow to the brain.

A transient ischemic stroke, also called a mini-stroke, is the temporary blockage of an artery caused by a blood clot. A tendency to form blood clots, he added, can be something we're born with. "In many cases we're unaware of it." Infections or minor illnesses can cause inflammation, which can also lead to blood clots.

Another cause of stroke is a cerebral hemorrhage, when an artery in the brain bursts and fills the area with blood. Singer and reality show star Bret Michaels, 47, reportedly suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage recently, a specific type of bleeding stroke that happens between the tissues around the brain and the brain itself.

Some types of migraines may also lead to a stroke, said Dr. Patrick Lyden, chairman of the department of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Those who have classical migraines, he said, which include an aura and sometimes loss of vision or function on one side, may be at more risk for stroke than those who have common migraines, which typically cause pain on only one side of the head and almost never include an aura.

A statement from vice president Joe Biden's office said that Beau Biden, who suffered the stroke May 11, 2010 was alert with complete motor and speech skills. But the prognosis following a stroke depends on its cause, Lyden said, and that remains unclear. "First you think about the cause, then you think about the severity of the symptoms, then you think about how to treat it." --adapted from the Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2010.

Comment: Let us not forget that there are nutrition and lifestyle factors that are involved here also. Junk and processed foods, as well as the meat and sweets diet so prominent in the U.S. should be considered. Too, I've read articles that warn young folk that the use of cocaine and other drugs can cause strokes. We have a responsibility to understand these things and be willing to take care of our bodies.

Suzanne

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Natural compounds in oranges may reduce risk of stroke in women

by Satish Lohani

(NaturalNews) Oranges are not only sweet and delicious but also they are very healthy. Latest research, which will be published in the April issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, provides another reason to eat oranges and citrus fruits on a regular basis. While past research showed that oranges reduce cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure, this new observational study suggests that they reduce stroke risk as well.

This research shows that naturally occurring compounds called flavanones in citrus fruits are linked to reduced risk for ischemic stroke in women. Ischemic stroke occurs if there is a decrease in blood supply to the brain due to a blocked artery. The compounds also improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and improve overall cardiovascular health.

The researchers followed a group of 70,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study for 14 years. Women in the study filled out questionnaires every four years to report their eating habits. The research team calculated the flavonoid content in food by using the flavonoid database from the US Department of Agriculture.

Whole oranges are better than juice or supplements

Some of the women in the study consumed these compounds by drinking orange and grapefruit juice. However, the researchers mention that it is better to eat the whole fruit to increase intake of the healthy flavanones from citrus fruits.

Researchers also concluded that it is better to eat the whole fruit instead of vitamin C supplements. In their study, vitamin C did not correlate with reduction of stroke risk.

They believe that flavanones such as naringenin and hesperetin may be responsible because they have strong anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds also have an impact on the production of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels.

Oranges are good for men too

Previous research showed that flavonoids in oranges decrease cholesterol levels in the body. They also decrease your blood pressure. In a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that oranges have flavonoid compounds called hesperidin which reduce blood pressure and lower cardiovascular risk. All the volunteers in this hesperidin study were men; evidence that oranges are good for men's cardiovascular health as well.

Since the link between citrus fruits and reduced stroke risk is based on an observational study, the study authors suggest that randomized trials are needed to confirm the association.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/31332

http://stroke.ahajournals.org

http://www.livescience.com/18608-citrus-fruits-stroke-risk.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9858130

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21068346

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Magnesium for Stroke Prevention

Eating magnesium-rich foods such as leafy green veggies, nuts and whole grains is tied to a lower ischemic stroke risk, according to researchers in Stockholm. They analyzed past studies that included over 240,000 people consuming at least 242 mg a day of magnesium. Of the participants, 6,477 suffered strokes. These statistics led the authors to conclude that for every extra 100 mg of magnesium consumed daily, ischemic stroke risk was reduced by 9%. They also stressed that the results suggest a link but don't establish one and that the benefits were gained from food, not supplements. U.S. guidelines recommend 320 to 420 mg of dietary magnesium a day. --Johns Hopkins, Health After 50, April 2012.

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Eating tomatoes is shown to slash stroke risk in half

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Stroke continues to rank as the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., permanently disabling and needlessly taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of adults every year. Recent studies have demonstrated that the risk of stroke can be lowered by following simple lifestyle changes including regular physical activity, limiting or eliminating trans and hydrogenated fats and sugars from the diet and consuming a variety of antioxidants from natural foods or supplemental sources.

A research team from the University of Eastern Finland, reporting in the journal, Neurology has determined that eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, due in large part to high concentrations of the potent antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene is a well studied compound that gives tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables their deep red color. In prior studies, lycopene has been associated with a significant risk reduction in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

To conduct this study, scientists considered medical data from 1,031 Finnish men between the ages of 46 and 65. Baseline lycopene levels were taken at the outset of the study, and the participants were followed for a period of 12 years. During this period, 67 men experienced a stroke event.

Lycopene from tomatoes and tomato-based foods dramatically lowers stroke risk in men

After determining the amount of lycopene consumed by the participants, researchers found that 9.7 percent of those men with the lowest intake of lycopene experienced a stroke. 4.2 percent of the men with the highest lycopene consumption had a stroke over the study period. The study team determined that people with the highest amounts of lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than people with the lowest amounts of lycopene in their blood.

When the researchers further broke down the results, they found that those with the highest levels of lycopene were 59 percent less likely to have an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot, the most common type of stroke) than those with the lowest levels. Lead research author, Dr. Jouni Karppi concluded "This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke... the results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research."

Interestingly, the scientists reviewed blood levels of the antioxidants alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and retinol, but found no association between the blood levels and risk of stroke. This provides further support for consumption of a varied diet from a wide array of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds supplying a rainbow of antioxidant compounds and omega-3 fats to prevent disease. Health-conscious individuals will want to include one to two daily servings of tomatoes and tomato-based foods to dramatically lower stroke risk.

Sources for this article include:

http://aan.com/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=1107

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Strokes/35207

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008161746.htm

http://www.nutraingredients.com

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Walking regularly slashes stroke risk in women by nearly 50 percent

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Physical inactivity continues to be a significant underlying cause of chronic illness and early death in the U.S., as sedentary Americans succumb to the utilitarian comforts of modern technology. Lack of exercise, coupled with a largely processed food diet leads to potentially deadly diseases including cancer, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Stroke incidence continues to increase at a staggering rate, affecting 425,000 women each year, often leaving them unable to perform routine daily tasks and increasing mortality risk.

Researchers from Spain have published the result of a study in the journal Stroke that has determined walking at least three hours a week reduces the risk of stroke among women by nearly half, yet another important reminder of the health benefits of exercising on a consistent basis. The study team set out to assess the association between regular physical activity and cerebrovascular diseases, defined as conditions that develop as a result of problems with the blood vessels inside the brain such as stroke.

A brisk walk improves vascular function in women to help prevent a stroke

To conduct the study, scientists developed a cohort consisting of 13,576 men and 19,416 women, aged 29 to 69 years who were part of the European Cancer Project that was initiated during the mid-1990s. Participants responded to a physical activity questionnaire and were divided by gender, type of physical activity and how much time they had spent on physical activity.

After a 12 year follow-up period, 442 stroke cases were recorded and subsequently classified as 80 percent ischemic, 10 percent hemorrhagic, seven percent subarachnoid hemorrhage, and three percent unspecified. Interestingly, the researchers determined that physical activity was associated with a stroke reduction risk for women but not men. Women who walked at least 210 minutes (three and a half hours) a week showed a reduced risk for stroke of 43 percent compared to those who did not participate in physical activity.

The team also revealed that other types of exercise, regardless of intensity had no significant association in stroke risk reduction. The study's authors concluded "Though the exact relationship among different types of physical activity and different stroke subtypes remains unclear, the results of this specific study indicate that walking, in particular, is associated with lower risk of stroke." Walking briskly for 30 minutes on most days of the week is not only a perfect complement to weight management strategies, but also dramatically lowers the risk of a devastating stroke in women.

Sources for this article include:

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/44/1/111.abstrac

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23223506

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/254632.php

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B vitamins shown to reduce stroke risk

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Chinese researchers have uncovered even more convincing evidence to suggest that full-spectrum B vitamins are capable of reducing stroke risk. Published in the journal Neurology, the findings of this new meta-analysis out of Zhengzhou University reveal that supplementing with vitamin B can help naturally lower homocysteine levels in the blood, which in turn helps prevent blood clots from forming.

To arrive at this conclusion, Dr. Xu Yuming and his colleagues compiled and analyzed data from 14 randomized trials involving nearly 55,000 participants. Each of these trials looked at the effects of vitamin B when given to patients in varying doses over the course of at least six months, some with seemingly positive results and others with apparently negative results. The findings of all the studies were then compared and contrasted with one another to identify any inherent patterns.

The primary observed pattern was that B vitamins appear to reduce stroke risk by about seven percent overall, and this is due to the effects of the nutrient class on homocysteine levels. In other words, when homocysteine levels are lowered by B vitamins, the likelihood of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, is also lowered. And in the process, the risks of stroke, heart attack, blood clot formation and dementia are also diminished.

"Our analysis demonstrated that homocysteine lowering therapy with B vitamin supplementation significantly reduced stroke events," wrote the authors in their conclusion.

Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by taking in more food-based B vitamins

Though the authors did not admit to observing any specific reduction in heart attack risk from taking B vitamins, the same mechanistic actions responsible for decreasing stroke risk can also be extrapolated to apply to heart attack risk. Additionally, previous studies have already confirmed that B vitamins provide general benefits that decrease the risk of cardiovascular events, which means that taking them is good for the heart in many respects.

"B vitamins are essential for living," says Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietician and author of the book Diet Simple, as quoted by CNN. "They produce energy in our cells. They are water-soluble vitamins, which means if you take in too much, they are usually excreted by the kidneys. The exception is B12."

For maximum bioavailability and effectiveness, it is crucial to supplement only with whole food-based, full-spectrum B vitamins rather than the more common synthetic varieties. When regular foods in your diet do not provide enough natural vitamin B, whole food-based B vitamins can bridge the gap and provide therapeutic doses for maximum health benefits.

"Folate [vitamin B9], vitamin B2, and vitamin B12 play key roles in converting homocysteine into methionine, one of the 20 or so building blocks from which the body builds new proteins," explains the Harvard School of Public Health. "Without enough folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, this conversion process becomes inefficient and homocysteine levels increase. In turn, increasing intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 decreases homocysteine levels."

To learn more about B vitamins and how to better incorporate them into your daily routine, check out this awesome write-up by Natural Grocers nutrition reporter Jack Challem:

http://www.naturalgrocers.com

Sources for this article include:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com

http://stroke.ahajournals.org

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

http://www.naturalgrocers.com

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Prevent Strokes

A recent study found that every 7-gram increase in fiber consumption led to a 7% lower risk of stroke. That's the amount of fiber in a half-cup of cooked beans or two servings of fruit or veggies. Fiber may reduce stroke risk by helping to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. --University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, 7/13.

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Vitamin C can help reduce your risk of a stroke

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Vitamin C is a necessary daily supplement for a number of reasons, but new data suggest that it can also cut your chances of suffering a stroke.

A new study that is set to be presented to a conference of experts later in the year indicates that eating foods rich in vitamin C -- oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, papaya, to name a few -- can reduce hemorrhagic stroke risks.

As reported by Medical News Today, stroke is the fourth-leading cause of the death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that 795,000 Americans suffer from stroke annually; of that number, 130,000 die.

Doctors point out that there are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic, with the former by far being the most common.

In ischemic strokes, a blockage -- a clot, generally -- in a blood vessel stops the flow of blood from reaching one or more parts of the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes are much more deadly, though more rare; they occur when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, thereby allowing blood to seep into the areas surrounding the brain.

"Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study," said study author Dr. Stephane Vannier, of Pontchaillou University Hospital in Rennes, France.

Vannier and a team of researchers compared 65 patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke with 65 others who were healthy and had not suffered the condition. Researchers examined the vitamin C levels in both groups via blood samples. The results: 41 percent of all participants had normal vitamin C levels, 45 percent had depleted levels, and 14 percent had levels so low that they were considered vitamin C-deficient.

On average, the researchers found, participants who had experienced a stroke had depleted vitamin C levels, while those who had not retained normal levels in their blood.

Early results are promising

Thus far, the team's results have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but the American Academy of Neurology nonetheless plans to release details of the study to the media in advance of its 66th annual meeting, scheduled at the end of April in Philadelphia. There, additional details will be provided.

Vannier said more research would be needed in order to confirm his findings and to learn how vitamin C actually works to reduce stroke risk. He also said one way it might work is by reducing blood pressure. He also noted that vitamin C had other benefits, such as aiding in the production of collagen, a protein giving structure to skin, tissue and bones.

"If confirmed," Medical News Today reported, "the findings add to a growing body of evidence linking dietary factors to risk of stroke. In a study published in 2012, researchers found that consuming chocolate may lower risk of any stroke. They found men who ate the largest amounts of chocolate had a 17% lower risk of stroke than men who never or very rarely ate it."

As reported earlier by Natural News, vitamin C has many other health benefits:

-- Perhaps the best-known quality of the vitamin is its ability to boost the human immune system. But it is also good as an agent of detoxification [http://www.naturalnews.com].

--In the 19th and 20th centuries, doctors and researchers found that high doses of vitamin C -- like as much 1,000 times today's recommended daily allowances -- can treat a range of conditions and diseases [http://www.naturalnews.com].

--Why do high doses of vitamin C work? Hint: It's the ascorbic acid, say researchers. High-dose vitamin C even reportedly cured Dr. Andrew Saul, PhD, of pneumonia in just three hours (but you should always consult a nutritionist expert before trying such things yourself) [http://www.naturalnews.com].

Sources:

http://www.foxnews.com

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

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Vitamin C could reduce risk of stroke

by Sandeep Godiyal

(NaturalNews) The benefits of vitamin C on the immune system have been well documented for a number of years. Vitamin C is crucial to the overall health of the body in its efforts to fight off infections - both bacterial and viral. Recent research has discovered another advantage to ensuring that levels of vitamin C are at the optimum.

Strokes and vitamin C

Recently, at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, a small French study presented evidence that those people who have normal levels of vitamin C showed a significantly reduced risk for hemorrhagic stroke when compared to those people whose vitamin C levels were deficient or low. Hemorrhagic stroke, while less common than ischemic stroke, is more deadly.

Dr. Stephane Vannier, of Frances' Pontchalilou University Hospital, cited the results of this study as pointing to low levels of vitamin C as a risk factor for strokes of this type. Other risk factors that he pointed out include being overweight, having high blood pressure and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Details of French study are startling

Dr. Vannier, and his colleagues, studied 130 people. Half of those people had not had a stroke while the other half had suffered one. Out of all 130 people, 45 percent had vitamin C levels that were classified as being very low. Another 45 percent of the study participants had levels of vitamin C that were normal. Of those 65 people in the study that had never had a stroke, all of them had normal levels of vitamin C.

Accumulating evidence shows stroke and vitamin C connection

This French study data is still quite new as it has not yet been through the peer review phase. However, it already corroborates some earlier studies that showed similar results. A University of Cambridge study, undertaken in 2008, showed that participants with high vitamin C levels in their blood had a 42 percent reduction in the occurrence of strokes.

Another study, undertaken in 1995 and cited in the British Medical Journal, showed that among elderly people, those with lower levels of vitamin C showed the greatest risk of having a stroke.

Recently, a 20-year research project was completed in Japan. Dr. Tetsuji Yokoyama, an epidemiologist who led the study, stated that his study showed that sufficient levels of vitamin C had positive effects on all types of strokes, including the type that is most common. Of the more than 2,100 participants in the Japanese study, those people who were in the group with the lowest amounts of vitamin C suffered more strokes.

Given all the research that points to the plethora of benefits that are possible with the correct levels of vitamin C, it makes sense to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Men need 90 milligrams a day while women should get 75.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nydailynews.com

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

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Six ways Women Can Reduce Their Risk of Stroke

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Studies have shown that women are more at risk of suffering a stroke than men, and for the first time, women and their physicians are now armed with evidence-based guidelines on how best to reduce those risks.

"The take-home here is really about starting prevention earlier," Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, an associate professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., told National Public Radio. Bushnell is the lead author of the guidelines published recently in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

"For the most part the focus of our guideline is for women who are thinking about getting pregnant," said Bushnell, who added that that includes women who are actively trying to avoid pregnancy with birth control pills and women who are trying to become pregnant.

"The only controversy for us is that we are recommending blood pressure treatment [with medication] during pregnancy," Bushnell says. "That's something the obstetricians may disagree with."

Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, M.D., Director of Neuroscience Critical Care and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, added that women should be evaluated a little differently for stroke risk than men.

"Evaluation and management of stroke in women has some nuances that are unique to women. In particular, a woman may present with sudden pain in her face and limb, sudden nausea or sudden hiccups rather than the more common stroke symptoms seen in both sexes," she told Natural News. "When evaluating a woman, particular attention needs to be paid to her headache history; whether she is pregnant, on oral contraceptives or on hormone replacement therapy; and if she has a history of autoimmune diseases such a lupus."

How to reduce women's risk of stroke

There are several ways that women can mitigate their risk of stroke, experts say. Michale J. (Mickey) Barber, M.D., an anesthesiologist and academic, as well as an age management expert who works primarily with women on heart disease/stroke prevention, offered the following measures in particular:

-- Control that blood pressure. Like other experts, such as Bushnell, Barber says she believes that keeping blood pressure under control is vital. "Many women tend to ignore or are undertreated for hypertension. The first step in many cases is to improve body composition as a drop in weight of 10 pounds can translate to a drop in systolic BP by 10 mm mercury," she told Natural News.

-- Watch low folate and vitamin B12 levels. "These levels are reflected by high homocysteine levels," she said. "It is common in women over the age of 45 to become less and less efficient at absorbing B-12 from the gut. High levels of homocysteine increase thrombosis (clot), impair microcirculatory function and increase inflammation."

-- Diet is, as always, very important. Barber recommends a diet rich in fruits and vegetables "to provide adequate antioxidants to counter oxidative stress (inflammation)." As reported by Natural News, some of the best antioxidant foods include berries (tropical acai berries rank the highest, followed by blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, pomegranates and strawberries); veggies like kale, spinach and broccoli; legumes like black beans and kidney beans; nuts and grains like pecans, walnuts and steel-cut oats; and chocolate (in moderation) [http://www.naturalnews.com].

-- Eat like a Greek. Barber recommends a Mediterranean-style diet consisting of higher intake of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, as well as moderate-to-higher consumption of fish and limited animal fats. Obesity is a huge stroke factor.

-- Exercise. Making time for vigorous physical exercise "like your life depends on it" is vital, says Barber. This is especially true as we age; a sedentary lifestyle is not conducive to a long, productive life.

-- Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Some alcohol -- like red wines -- has been found to be beneficial for the heart, in limited amounts, but there is nothing good that comes from smoking. Besides increasing your risk of cancer, smoking is devastating to your heart and cardiovascular system, and this can be especially true for women.

Some other things that women can do to reduce their risk, Barber said, is to consider a low-dose aspirin per day (after discussing this with your health professional), eliminating toxic stress, increasing your meditation and controlling diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions "with a low glycemic diet and exercise."

Sources:

http://www.npr.org

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.cenegenicscarolinas.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Suzanne

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Suzanne Sutton

Excessive Meat Consumption Found to Increase Risk of Stroke

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Very few dietary topics spark more controversy than consumption of red meat and risk of diseases ranging from cancer to heart disease and diabetes. Most nutrition scientists indicate a high protein diet is essential to promote vibrant health, aid in weight management and lower the risk from metabolic dysfunction. A rapidly mounting body of research now shows that the type and quantity of protein consumed can raise the risk of stroke in a serving-dependent manner.

Researchers conducting a meta-analysis of six large studies conducted in the US, Japan and Sweden over the past decade published the results of their work in Stroke, the Journal of the American Heart Association. Consumption of red meat, including beef, pork, lamb, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon spike the risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke event.

Dr. Joanna Kaluza of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland noted the findings are "of great public health importance because of the widespread consumption of red meat and the high morbidity and mortality associated with stroke." The authors explain that eating red meat did not increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Processed and factory farmed red meats dramatically raise stroke risk

The meta-analysis included a total of 329,495 participants and resulted in 10,630 cases of stroke. All of the studies statistically adjusted for age, body mass index, and alcohol consumption, as well as smoking, physical activity, diabetes, hypertension, energy intake, and fruit and vegetable consumption. Each daily serving of fresh, red meat increased stroke risk by 11 percent. Similarly, processed meats increased risk by 13 percent. All meat consumption combined increased stroke risk by 12 percent.

In an effort to explain the results, the researchers suggested a few possible mechanisms to explain the findings, including consumption of high levels of saturated fats, which could lead to a greater risk of stroke from higher levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The authors also note that red meat contains a high level of heme iron and theorize that "high doses of iron may lead to oxidative stress, a state with increased peroxidation of lipids, protein modification, and DNA damage."

Excessive consumption of foods high in heme iron lead to the development of many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurological disorders, and chronic inflammation. Many research studies fail to account for the type of red meat consumed though, making the false assumption that animals fed fattening grains and injected with growth hormones and antibiotics have the same effect when consumed on human health as grass fed, free range cattle.

Most holistic nutritionists agree that consumption of moderate amounts of red meat fed from certified organic pastures is important for human health. The results of this meta-study confirm that processed meats and factory farmed beef significantly increase risk of stroke in a serving-dependent fashion.

Sources for this article include:

http://stroke.ahajournals.org

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22851546

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Strokes/34072

Suzanne

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This bears repeating!

Women Can Reduce Stroke Risk By Eating Citrus Fruits

by Raw Michelle

(NaturalNews) It's no secret that eating a variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables offer an array of health benefits from improving mood to lowering cholesterol. Many of them also have the ability to reduce the risk of stroke due to compounds that improve blood flow.

However, newer studies have surfaced showing that citrus fruits in particular can help reduce stroke risk for women. The Journal of the American Heart Association published studies that found that risk of ischemic stroke can be lowered for women who eat certain citrus fruits. Women who consumed oranges and grapefruit in particular were shown to have a 19 percent lowered stroke risk over women who did not consume these kinds of citrus fruits.

The findings were based on a study that involved 14 years of follow-up data across almost 70,000 female nurses. Their food choices were closely examined and it was found that those eating citrus foods had the lowest stroke risk.

Why citrus foods help fight risk of stroke

The reason these specific fruits play a role in reducing stroke risk is due to the fact that they have a subgroup of flavonoids called flavanones.

Flavonoids have long been heralded for their healthful antioxidant abilities. However, the benefit of one particular kind called flavanones is what stood out in the published study since they were said to offer the most protection against stroke. "Flavanones may reduce risk of stroke through several mechanisms, including improving blood vessel health and countering inflammation," according to one study researcher Aedin Cassidy, who is also a professor of nutrition at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

In addition to offering stroke protection in women, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit also contain vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium which can help with heart protection and give people increased energy levels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke takes the life of one American every four minutes, on average. About 55,000 more women than men have a strokes annually, and many are not aware of stroke symptoms which include sudden onset of: impaired vision, headache, confusion or numbness typically on just one side of the body.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/035387_citrus_fruit_stroke_risk_women.html

http://www.cbsnews.com

http://www.livescience.com/18608-citrus-fruits-stroke-risk.html

http://stroke.ahajournals.org

Suzanne

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Prevent Stroke By Eating Fruits and Veggies

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A diet high in fruits and vegetables may cut the risk of stroke by nearly one-third, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Qingdao Municipal Hospital and the Medical College of Qingdao University in Qingdao, China, and published in the journal Stroke.

"Improving diet and lifestyle is critical for heart and stroke risk reduction in the general population," lead researcher Yan Qu, MD, said. "In particular, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended because it meets micronutrient and macronutrient and fiber requirements without adding substantially to overall energy requirements."

Stroke, which occurs when the blood flow to any part of the brain is obstructed due to a clot or a ruptured blood vessel, is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, and one of the major causes of disability (due to brain damage). In China, where the study was conducted, stroke is the foremost cause of death, responsible for 1.7 million fatalities in 2010

Less than half a pound daily cuts risk by a third

While many studies have previously looked into the relationship between diet and stroke risk, results have not been consistent. In order to help resolve this inconsistency, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 20 prior studies published over the last 19 years. The analysis included data from 16,981 strokes among 760,629 participants. Six of the studies had been conducted in the United States, eight in Europe and six in China and Japan.

The researchers found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 21 percent less likely to experience a stroke than people who ate the least. Indeed, every extra 200 grams (7 ounces) of daily fruit intake reduced stroke risk by 32 percent, while every extra 200 grams of vegetable intake reduced the risk by 11 percent. The greatest benefit came from consumption of apples, citrus fruits, pears and leafy vegetables.

"The effect of other types of fruit and vegetables on stroke risk still needs to be confirmed," Qu said.

The findings remained significant, even after the researchers adjusted for potential confounding factors including alcohol consumption, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol levels, physical activity and smoking. The findings were the same in both men and women, and in participants both younger and older than 55. Fruit and vegetable consumption was found to prevent stroke caused both by blood clots and by bleeding.

Follow dietary recommendations

The findings add further weight to existing dietary recommendations from groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association, which encourage people to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Unfortunately, the researchers noted, fruit and vegetable consumption tends to be low globally, particularly in low- to middle-income countries. Indeed, the World Health Organization has estimated that, if every person ate 600 grams (20 ounces) of fruits and vegetables per day, the global stroke rate could drop by 19 percent.

"The findings are consistent with the current knowledge that increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables should be encouraged to prevent stroke," Qu said.

What the study did not do was explain why fruits and vegetables lower the risk of stroke. The benefit might come from specific nutrients contained in particular foods; from the fact that diets high in fruits and vegetables improve overall health, reducing stroke risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight; or from some combination of factors.

The study found that people with the lowest stroke risk not only ate lots of fruits and vegetables but also controlled other risk factors such as weight and smoking.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.newsdaily.com

http://newsroom.heart.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Suzanne

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Fruits, veggies And Vitamin E Combine To Slash Risk Of Stroke And Premature Death

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Nutrition researchers have written volumes over the past decade to clearly demonstrate how foods eaten in their natural and unprocessed states, combined with healthy lifestyle choices, can significantly cut the risk of virtually all chronic diseases that lead millions of unsuspecting people to early deaths. Epigenetic studies have shown that our genetic structure is not static and set in stone from birth, but, rather, is positively or negatively influenced by the quality of each calorie we consume, our lifestyle choices and our environment. It comes as no surprise to most health conscious individuals that the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables and certain vitamins can have a profound effect on a person's risk for having a stroke or a decreased lifespan.

Researchers conducting a meta-analysis of 20 studies over the past 19 years have published the results of their findings in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. These findings show that by increasing one's fruit and vegetable intake, one can dramatically lower his incidence of vascular diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease and stroke. The scientists noted that while the occurrence of strokes has declined over the past 40 years in higher income countries due to an increased emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables, the mortality rates from strokes continue to rise in lower income parts of the world where fresh produce is costly and not readily available.

Fruits and vegetables improve critical metabolic parameters to lower stroke risk

Members of the study team found a 32% decrease in stroke risk for every 200 g of fruits (approximately three to four half-cup servings) and an 11% decrease in stroke risk for every 200 g of vegetables (roughly five servings) consumed daily. Lead study author Dr. Yan Qu noted that "improving diet and lifestyle [are] critical for heart and stroke risk reduction in the general population. In particular, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is highly recommended because it meets micronutrient and macronutrient and fiber requirements without adding substantially to overall energy requirements." Specifically the meta-analysis concluded that eating fruits and vegetables lowers blood pressure and systemic body inflammation as well as yields improvements to microvascular function, body mass index, cholesterol ratios and oxidative stress.

In an independent study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center looked to find a natural agent that not only helped treat the damaging effects of a stroke after it had occurred, but could actually help lower the risk of a catastrophic vascular event. Lead investigator Dr. Cameron Rink and his team focused on a specific vitamin E isomer or tocotrienol, which has been associated with a lowered risk of functional decline in Alzheimer's patients. Tocotrienols are known to block cholesterol production in the liver and beneficially alter healthy cholesterol ratios.

Using an animal model for their study, the scientists determined that after ten weeks of vitamin E tocotrienol supplementation, the natural compound stimulated arteriogenesis, an increase in the diameter of existing arteries in response to oxygen demand. This process can prevent brain damage, as it effectively offers a secondary or collateral blood supply. Rink concluded "we think that tocotrienol helps improve the function of collaterals, which would offer someone better protection from an initial or secondary stroke." This research provides yet another compelling reason to include seven to nine combined daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to lower the risk of stroke and a host of chronic diseases.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276...

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/...

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276...

http://www.newswise.com/articles/brain-saver...

Suzanne

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Inadequate Vitamin C Levels Boost Risk Of Most Deadly Type of Stroke by Nearly 50 Percent

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Every year in the US, more than 800,000 people suffer the devastating effects of a stroke, and 150,000 will die as a consequence of the fourth-leading cause of mortality. The sad part of this story is that many of these deaths are preventable by altering lifestyle habits and adhering to a diet that eliminates highly processed foods in favor of fruits and vegetables delivered as nature intended. Elevated blood pressure and a cascade of poor lifestyle choices combine to cause arterial stiffening with age, dramatically increasing the risk of a fatal ischemic event. Increased physical activity is a well known strategy for lowering blood pressure, and a diet including adequate vitamin C intake is now hailed for its ability to improve arterial elasticity that improves the risk of suffering a stroke.

Researchers from the Pontchaillou University Hospital in France will release the results of a study to the American Academy of Neurology showing how eating foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, peppers, strawberries, papaya and broccoli, may be linked to a reduced risk for hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke is a less-common cause of the ailment compared to ischemic stroke but is more deadly and occurs when a weakened blood vessel in the brain ruptures and allows blood to leak into and around the brain.

Vitamin C from diet and supplements improves vascular elasticity to lower heart disease and stroke risk

To conduct this study, team members analyzed 65 patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke and contrasted with an age- and health-comparable group of 65 healthy counterparts. Lead author Dr. Stephane Vannier noted, "Our results show that vitamin C deficiency should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke, as were high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and being overweight in our study." After an analysis of vitamin C blood levels, the scientists found that 41% of all participants had normal levels, 45% had depleted levels, and 14% had levels so low that they were considered deficient in vitamin C.

After following the participant group over the course of 10 years, researchers determined that the participants who had experienced a stroke had depleted levels, while the ones who had not had a stroke had normal levels of vitamin C in their blood. In support of their findings, the team noted that a 2008 University of Cambridge study found that people with high blood levels of vitamin C reduced their stroke risk by 42%. They also cited a 2012 study indicating that consuming chocolate may lower risk of any stroke. That research found that men who ate the largest amounts of chocolate had a 17% lower risk of stroke than men who never or very rarely ate it.

Catherine Paddock, PhD, wrote at Medical News Today, "[O]ne way vitamin C might reduce stroke risk could be by reducing blood pressure, and he adds that vitamin C has other benefits, like helping to make collagen, a protein that gives structure to skin, bones and tissue." Most citrus fruits and vegetables supply healthy amounts of vitamin C to the diet, and most studies have found that supplementing with vitamin C (1,500 to 3,000 mg per day) dramatically lowers the risk of vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

Sources for this article include:

https://www.aan.com

http://www.nydailynews.com

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Suzanne

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