It’s all well and good that vitamin C can fight the sniffles. But new research suggests the micronutrient can rebuff something even more nefarious: Death. At least for a while.
While the vitamin C won’t enable you to live forever, it may reduce early death by 20 percent according to a study from Denmark. That research also found a higher intake of the vitamin can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 15 percent.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital studied data from 100,000 Danes from the Copenhagen General Population Study, focusing on their intake of fruit and vegetables and their DNA. They found a lower risk of heart disease and early death among people who ate more fruits and vegetables and believe the higher content of vitamin C in their diet is responsible for their healthy hearts.
"We can see that those with the highest intake of fruit and vegetables have a 15 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 20 percent lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruit and vegetables. At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruit and vegetables," study co-author Camilla Kobylecki, a medical doctor and PhD student at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital told Science20.com. The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"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," said study co-author Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, told Science20.com.