COPENHAGEN, The Netherlands — Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may lower the risk of certain types of heart disease, according to a new study.
Researchers are crediting a high ratio of vitamin C with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease and all-cause mortality.
The findings were published in the May edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Vitamin C potentially protects biological components such as low-density lipoproteins against oxidative modifications and, thereby, could possibly take on an atheroprotective role.
Researchers asked whether high consumption of fruit and vegetables was associated with low risk of ischemic heart disease and all-cause mortality in 83,256 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study. They also looked at genetic links associated with high concentrations of plasma vitamin C in 3512 individuals.
They also tested for genetically high concentrations of plasma vitamin C associated with low risk of ischemic heart disease in 97,203 individuals.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, micronutrients, and phytochemicals. Researchers say it is plausible that one or a combination of several of these constituents might offer cardiovascular protection through improved vascular function, lower blood and plasma concentrations of LDL cholesterol, or a reduction in oxidative stress.
They also said the impact can be mediated through vitamin C, which is abundantly present in fruit and vegetables and considered a powerful antioxidant.