Take C or Not Take C, That Is the Question
WebMD News Archive
On the other hand, recent research conducted at the University of Southern
California and presented at an American Heart Association meeting showed that
men who took 500 mg of vitamin C developed thickening of their artery walls,
increasing their risk of heart attacks or strokes.
So how can vitamin C both reduce blood pressure and harden the arteries?
Fotherby says no one really knows, but he has a theory. "Although we gave
capsules to the subjects in our study, food sources of vitamin C are far
superior," says Fotherby. "Since foods contain many other nutrients,
including other antioxidants, they work together to promote overall
Sound nutrition has long been the advice of the American Heart Association,
the American Cancer Society and other health organizations, particularly those
that promote a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
The ADA says research on the relationship between diet and disease has
indicated the importance of a variety of nutrients. The best nutritional
strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease
is to obtain adequate nutrients from a wide variety of foods, according to the
ADA. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is appropriate when scientific
evidence shows safety and effectiveness, but good nutrition depends on a good
diet, the ADA says.
Different studies have shown that vitamin
C supplements lower blood pressure but can also cause hardening of the
In these studies, people took 500 mg of
vitamin C supplements per day, which is much greater than the recommended daily
Researchers do not know how vitamin C
causes these effects, but they advise people to continue to get vitamin C from
their diet, which is much healthier than taking a supplement.