Monday, October 02, 2017 by Lance D Johnson
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is one of the most abundant antioxidants. It’s necessary for cellular health and is easy to include in the diet/lifestyle. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that quickly passes through the body; therefore, intake should be frequent. A clean vitamin C supplement keeps levels up, assisting the immune system. Vitamin C is highest in super foods such as camu camu, acerola, and amalaki berry, and is also prevalent in mangoes, kiwi, strawberries, pineapples, peppers or citrus fruits.
Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of the following: L-carnitine for mitochondria protection, collagen for connective tissue strength, and some neurotransmitters for brain health. Vitamin C strengthens the thymus gland, empowering T-cells to help fight infections. Intravenous vitamin C helps the body eliminate cancer.
As an antioxidant, Vitamin C’s role in the human body is vast and often overlooked. Since a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a healthy heart and strong cardiovascular system, a team of researchers from Spain and the U.S. wanted to investigate a vital nutrient that is often overlooked for its role in improving cardiovascular health. The team of researchers took a closer look how vitamin C could reduce cardiovascular mortality. Since cardiovascular disease is related to oxidative stress, vitamin C could be of great benefit for the mere fact it is an antioxidant and plays a role in protecting the cellular energy process.
The researchers initially found a promising inverse association with cardiovascular risk factors and dietary vitamin C intake, indicated by ascorbic acid plasma levels. While vitamin C seemed to be of tremendous benefit to the heart, previous studies have had a hard time adjusting for confounders such as fiber intake, which typically coincides with vitamin C intake. In their research, supplementation of vitamin C beyond recommended levels didn’t seem to exhibit any greater preventative effect on cardiovascular mortality rates. High does supplementation with vitamin C (500 to 2000 mg/day) gave conflicting results. In two analyses, supplementation was associated with reduced blood pressure and improved endothelial function. However, in observational and interventional studies, supplementation of vitamin C actually coincided with slightly higher cardiovascular mortality.
The newest analysis of vitamin C accounted for fiber intake using Cox proportional hazard models and validated the diets of all the participants using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The researchers questioned 13,421 participants in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (University of Navarra follow-up) (SUN) cohort every two years for a mean time of 11 years. Cardiovascular events were confirmed by physicians and broken down into two categories. Incident CVD included incident-fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction, all strokes, or death due to any cardiovascular event. Alternately, death due to cardiovascular causes was differentiated as CVM. On the final results, the researchers revealed:
When vitamin C was adjusted for total fiber intake using the residuals method, we found a significant inverse association with CVM (HR (95% confidence interval (CI)) for the third tertile compared to the first tertile, 0.30 (0.12–0.72), but not with CVD in the fully adjusted model.
The verdict: Vitamin C sharply reduces cardiovascular mortality due to cardiovascular causes. (For more knowledge on nutrition’s role in prevention of chronic disease, visit Prevention.News.)