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Vegetables and vitamin C may protect against heart disease

High blood levels of vitamin C and frequently eating vegetables may protect against heart disease and early death according to a new report. USDA researchers began a study in 1981, assessing the health and nutrition status of 747 people aged 60 years and over. Particular attention was paid to the foods the participants usually ate and the levels in their blood of the antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta carotene. The researchers following up the subjects from 9 to 12 years later found that among people who ate lots of dark green and orange vegetables there were fewer deaths from heart disease and other causes. The researchers did not find significant associations between fruit consumption and reduced risk of disease and death. The study found that only higher blood levels of vitamin C and intake of more than 400 mg dialy predicted reduced risk of death from heart disease.

American Journal of Epidemiology 1996, 144