Benefits of Vitamin C, Antioxidant, Heart Disease, Blood Pressure
Vitamin C is one of the most potent, most robust antioxidants known to humankind and is naturally occurring in citrus fruits, such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, and vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts and capsicums.
Also, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in water and is not stored by the body. Therefore, since people eliminate it in through the urine, the vitamin requires a continuous supply through the diet.
There are many forms of vitamin C, with the most popular being ascorbic acid and various mineral ascorbates.
We will now review peer-reviewed, published studies that have investigated the many benefits of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce one’s risk of disease and chronic disease .
Antioxidants boost the effectiveness of the immune system through protecting cells from damaging molecules, including free radicals. Studies have found vitamin C may be highly effective in managing and treating a variety of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, type-2 diabetes, smokers with chronic oxidative stress, periodontitis, and heart disease, to name a few     .
With many of the diseases noted, oxidative stress either has a role in inducing the disease or oxidative stress increases as a result of the disease .
Long-term studies show that vitamin C supplementation indeed increased vitamin C concentration in serum levels.
In a 2003, five-year study, researchers noted a dose-dependent response of vitamin C, meaning the more the participants took, the more significant their vitamin C serum levels increased .
In a 2015 study, researchers investigated the antioxidative effects of vitamin C in individuals who exercised. The scientists concluded vitamin C supplementation could decrease oxidation in this environment .
Reduces Heart Disease Risk Factors
According to the World Health Organization, heart disease is the number one cause of death globally .
When doctors evaluate an individual’s risk for heart disease, they examine blood pressure, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. Studies have found that vitamin C plays a role in maintaining proper measurements of these risk factors.
In a 2004 cohort pooling study, scientists investigated the relationship between one’s intake of vitamin C and their coronary heart disease risk (CHD). The study included 293,172 subjects, and researchers noted that patients who supplemented with more than 700mg of vitamin C daily had a 25% reduced risk of CHD. The concluded, “The results suggest a reduced incidence of major CHD events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes” .
In a 2017 study, researchers found that vitamin C intake was inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality .
There is also data that suggests vitamin C has a positive impact on lipid measurements.
In a 2008 study, researchers investigated the relationship between vitamin C supplementation and LDL, HDL, and triglyceride measurements. The results show that vitamin C supplementation reduced LDL levels by approximately 7.9 mg/dl and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dl. The researchers concluded, “Supplementation with at least 500 mg/d of vitamin C, for a minimum of 4 weeks, can result in a significant decrease in serum LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations” . The researchers did note, however, that the supplementation does not affect HDL levels.
Vitamin C has also been shown to help promote endothelial function [cells that line the inside of arteries], which may also help to decrease one’s risk of heart disease or an adverse cardiovascular event       .
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in three American adults have high blood pressure , and high blood pressure, as noted above, increases one’s risk of heart disease.
Research has shown that vitamin C supplementation may help decrease blood pressure in individuals with and without high blood pressure.
In a 2002 animal study, researchers found that vitamin C was able to relax blood vessels through increased nitric oxide bioavailability [nitric oxide expands blood vessels], which helped to lower blood pressure .
In a 2012 meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials, researchers noted that vitamin C supplementation was associated with reduced blood pressure levels in humans.
In healthy adults, vitamin C supplementation, on average, reduced systolic blood pressure [upper value] by 3.84 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure [lower value] by 1.48 mmHg .
In people with high blood pressure, vitamin C supplementation, on average, reduce systolic blood pressure by 4.85 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.67 mmHg .
To summarize, vitamin C is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. However, since vitamin C is water-soluble, people must receive proper levels through either diet or supplementation. Further, numerous published studies have found vitamin C to have strong antioxidative effects and may prevent or help in cases of chronic illnesses. Finally, vitamin C supplementation has also been shown to play a beneficial role in heart health by helping maintain proper heart parameters.
If you are interested in trying a vitamin C supplement, check out Healthmasters' Vitamin C product.
If you have any questions about Healthmasters’ Vitamin C, please feel free to call our office at 800.726.1834.