By Nick Tate   |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 01:30 PM

Vitamin C has been found to boost longevity in new research from the University of Copenhagen linking high concentrations in the blood to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on an analysis of the medical records of about 100,000 Danes and their intake of fruit and vegetables, as well as their DNA.

“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,” said Camilla Kobylecki, M.D, with the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

“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.”

Vitamin C helps build connective tissue, and supports the function of many tissues and organs in the body. It is also a potent antioxidant that protects cells and biological molecules from the damage which causes many diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

“We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so,” explained Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor and consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.

“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.”