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Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure.

Vitamin C Helps Lower Blood Pressure

LONDON, ENGLAND: Supplemental vitamin C was shown to lower blood pressure in two intervention studies, it was reported recently at an international conference on antioxidants.

David Trout, Ph.D. of the United States Department of Agriculture, described the studies in which 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) of vitamin C was used experimentally to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) by scientists Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. In a group of 20 hypertensive women fed 1 gram of vitamin C taken daily for 3 months, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased.

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study with borderline hypertensives of both sexes, one gram of vitamin C taken daily for six weeks reduced systolic and pulse pressure, but not diastolic pressure. "From these results, it appears that vitamin C exerts an anti-hypertensive effect," said Trout.

The rationale for these studies was provided by epidemiological evidence from large population studies, which showed a negative correlation between vitamin C status and blood pressure -- that is, people with lower blood levels and/or dietary intakes of vitamin C had higher the blood pressure and vice versa. This correlation was also found in a recent study in Finland.

In Finland's Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study of 1984-1986, a clear inverse association between vitamin C and blood pressure was found in a sample of 722 men, all 54 years old. The men with higher blood levels of ascorbic acid had lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

"Plasma ascorbic acid has also been associated with other factors that correlate with blood pressure, such as smoking, blood levels of selenium, and intakes of potassium," Dr. Trout said, "but the connection between blood pressure and ascorbic acid persists after controlling for all the other variables."
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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