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Antihypertensive effect of vitamin C.

In a metaanalysis of 29 randomized controlled trials of vitamin C supplementation (median dose, 500 mg per day; median treatment duration, 8 weeks), the pooled changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure relative to placebo were--3.84 mm Hg (p < 0.01) and -1.48 mm Hg (p = 0.04), respectively. In trials in hypertensive participants, corresponding changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure relative to placebo were--4.85 mm Hg (p < 0.01) and--1.67 mm Hg (p = 0.17).

Comment: Previous controlled trials have demonstrated a modest reduction in systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients given supplemental vitamin C. In those studies, the reduction in diastolic blood pressure was fairly small and usually not statistically significant. However, the results of this mata-analysis indicate that supplementing with moderate doses of vitamin C can decrease both diastolic and systolic blood pressure in people with hypertension. Although the effects are relatively small, considering its safety, low cost, and multiple beneficial effects, vitamin C should be considered as a component of the treatment regimen for all hypertensive patients.

Juraschek SP et al. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am I Clin Nutr. 2012;95:1079-1088.

by Alan R. Gaby, MD

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Title Annotation:Literature Review & Commentary
Author:Gaby, Alan R.
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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