Vitamin C and Stroke Prevention by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach, M.D. NewsLetter

Vitamin C and Stroke Prevention

Dear Friend or Colleague ,

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 strokes occur annually in the United States. Heart attack and stroke have the same cause, namely atherosclerotic vascular disease.

Stroke prevention by the medical system usually consists of blood thinners started after the first stroke in hopes of preventing a second stroke.

A more important preventive measure which is often ignored is the role of Vitamin C in stroke prevention. Vitamin C is cheap, pennies a day, so there is no financial incentive to anyone to recommend it.

Here are two of many recent studies published in the medical literature showing Vitamin C to be beneficial in reducing the risk of stroke.

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 healthy and stroke-free. During the 20-year observation period, 196 strokes occurred, and the people who had the highest serum Vitamin C had 70 per cent fewer strokes. (1 )

A second study done in Finland in 2002 showed similar results (2 ).

Researchers tested blood levels of vitamin C in 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 vitamin C.

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. This 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 )

Is the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin C Too Low? How much Vitamin C is enough?

These are the different recommendations depending on the source:

Daily Vitamin C........Source of Recommendation

60-95 mg................U.S. Government RDA
200 mg...................Levin/NIH
400 mg...................Linus Pauling Institute (7)
2500 mg.................Hickey/Roberts (12)
4000 mg.................Robert Cathcart MD III (4)
6-12 g...................Thomas E Levy, MD, PHD (6)

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 to make our own Vitamin C. However, on an equivalent-weight basis with animals that can synthesize their own vitamin C, healthy adult humans would produce about 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.

There are Two Forms of Vitamin C
The (L) is Active and (R) is Inactive

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!!!. Maybe that's why some of the Vitamin C studies show poor results: they used the wrong isomer (R) that is inactive!!! (5)

To avoid the inactive Vitamin C (R) Isomer problem, you can get all of your Vitamin C from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes, etc. And if you wish to use a Vitamin C supplement, I would recommend a buffered, 100% pure (L) isomer of Vitamin C (ascorbate). This is exactly what our office provides to all our clients, and 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. Serum Vitamin C Concentration Was Inversely Associated With Subsequent 20-Year Incidence of Stroke in a Japanese Rural Community The Shibata Study Full text

(2 ). Plasma Vitamin C Modifies the Association Between Hypertension and Risk of Stroke. Stroke, 2002;33:1568-1573 S. Kurl, MD; T.P. Tuomainen, MD; J.A. Laukkanen, MD; K. Nyyss�nen, PhD;

(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

(5) Vitamin C, the L and R isomers: Wikipedia

(6) Thomas Levy MD on Vitamin C

(7) Linus Pauling Institute References for Vitamin C

(8) 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.

(9) Klenner FR. �The Treatment of Poliomyelitis and Other Virus Diseases with Vitamin C.� Southern Medicine & Surgery 1949: 209

(10) 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

(11) Publications by Robert F. Cathcart MD

(12)Dr. Hickey and Roberts Vitamin C recommendations


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(7) Dach J, Patel N, Patel S, Petasnick J. Peritoneal mesothelioma: CT, sonography, and gallium-67 scan. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1980 Sep;135(3):614


Don't forget to visit my web site for more information, and we you might like to attend one of our free seminars on Wednesday Nights. Please call for reservations for the seminar, though.

Do you have a testimonial, or a question for the newsletter? Send it in via email reply.


Sincerely Yours,
Jeffrey Dach, M.D.
4700 Sheridan Suite T.
Hollywood, Fl 33021

(c) 2007 All Rights Reserved Jeffrey Dach MD disclaimer


Dr. Dach is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and a member of the Board of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He has 25 years experience in the Memorial Hospital System. His practice focuses on Bio-identical hormone supplementation for men and women, natural thyroid and the use of natural substances rather than drugs in the appropriate setting.

Conflict of Interest Disclaimer: We receive no money from the pharmaceutical industry or from the NIH. We do not sell any products to the public at large. We do however, make available selected nutritional supplements to our office clients at a small markup to cover our costs.

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