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Vitamin C, choline and hawthorn are good for the heart

Vitamin C, choline and hawthorn are good for the heart, according to new findings.

In Britain, researchers measured vitamin C in the blood of 20,649 men and women, aged 40 to 79, who had not had a stroke. Those who began the study with the highest levels of vitamin C were more likely to use nutritional supplements and after 10 years were 42% less likely to have had a stroke than were those who began the study with the lowest vitamin C levels. Study authors noted that about half of all people who suffer from stroke do not have traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and that low vitamin C levels may help doctors better predict stroke risk.

In Greece, researchers analyzed choline in the diets of 3,042 men and women, aged 18 to 89, who did not have cardiovascular disease (CVD). Scientists measured signs of inflammation including C-reactive protein (CRP)—a risk factor for CVD—and found that those who got at least 310 mg of choline per day had about 20% less CRP than those with lower levels. Choline may be “an interesting new dietary approach…for reducing chronic diseases associated with inflammation,” doctors said.

In a research review, scientists analyzed 10 hawthorn studies involving 855 participants with mild to moderate chronic heart failure (CHF), whose symptoms included fatigue and shortness of breath. Most participants were also taking conventional CHF drugs. The studies measured maximum physical strength and endurance and found that hawthorn increased heart function and reduced fatigue and shortness of breath. 

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