If you ask most individuals what vitamin they closely associate with immune health, it might be vitamin C, but good heart function rarely pops up. In fact, new research combining meta-analysis and systematic review, which investigated the clinical effects of vitamin C on endothelial function, is providing an interesting insight into this amazing free-radical scavenger.
As a natural enzyme co-factor, helper molecules that assist in chemical transformations, vitamin C sustains nitric oxide levels in the blood. Published in Atherosclerosis Journal and using the Cochrane’s review methodology, the authors of the analysis settled on using 52 studies using a variety of search terms, primarily focusing on cardiovascular and endothelial effects. The criteria, which included measurements for flow-mediated dilation, forearm blood flow, and pulse wave analysis, studied the effects of oral and intravenous vitamin C intake.
Out of the studies looked at; two-thirds recorded a noticeable, positive change in endothelial function. In addition, supplementing with vitamin C helped people with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart failure.
It’s important to note that the lower doses of vitamin C, about 90-500mg daily, didn’t have any effect on endothelial function. However, higher doses, such as amounts in the 501-4000mg range, had a similar outcome observed in the trials. Even though the higher dosing levels seem rather large, none of the studies carried any negative side-effects.
In essence, vitamin C, in this case, intravenous and oral, is lessening oxidative damage, vascular inflammation, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. The authors also pointed out that subjects taking 700mg of vitamin C daily experience a 25% decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.
As a general maintenance dose, the authors of the study suggested individuals take a 500mg, or more, daily dose of vitamin C during periods of stress, deficiencies, or anyone dealing with endothelial dysfunction.
To sum things up, vitamin C is a safe, cost-effective, and natural way to treat and improve various heart conditions and diabetes, with an even stronger effect on those dealing with more serious cardiovascular issues.