A small study shows that vitamin C may help overweight and obese patients dodge clogged arteries on the long run. The vitamin was found as useful as physical exercise is in combating the condition.
The study involved 35 obese and overweight volunteers who agreed to take a daily dose of vitamin C and have their cardiovascular health monitored during the process. Scientists were especially interested in comparing vitamin C with physical activity’s effect on a protein which is known to be the main cause for blood vessel constriction.
In weight challenged patients, the levels of this protein dubbed endothelin-1 are unusually high, leading to constricted arteries and small blood vessels. High levels of endothelin-1 indirectly lead to heart disease and stroke later on.
The findings were made public at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia.
Researchers acknowledged that regular physical exercise also reduces the risk of constricted blood vessels and clogged arteries but making a routine of it may be a challenge for sedentary overweight people.
Dr. Caitlin Dow of the University of Colorado, Boulder was curious to learn whether vitamin C supplements may shield oversized people from clogged arteries and other byproducts of blood vessel constriction.
The team learned that 500 mg daily doses of the vitamin had the same effect on reducing endothelin-1 levels as simple walking did. Study participants had to choose between aerobics and vitamin C supplements and stick to one of the approach for three months.
Participants’ blood pressure and endothelin-1 levels were closely monitored over the course of the trial. Both approaches had a similar effect on endothelin-1 levels and clogged artery prevention, study authors reported.
But other studies have shown that vitamin C may bring impressive health benefits. For instance, it can help you get rid of common colds easier. It can also stave off allergies because it acts as a natural antihistamine.
Vitamin C was also found to heal wounds faster because it stimulates collagen production in skin layers. It also helps patients with broken bones and burns to recover quickly. Vitamin C may also help people cope better with stress because it regulates how stress hormones are released in the blood flow.
Some other studies had shown that vitamin C can control bad cholesterol and help the body eliminate it easier. Past studies had also shown that vitamin C helps blood vessels become more flexible in high blood pressure patients and people diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The vitamin also protects blood vessel walls from aging processes therefore lowering the risk of a heart disease or stroke.
Other research papers revealed that vitamin C may prevent diabetes and help diabetics rein in blood sugar levels and other complications of type 2 diabetes. In some studies, vitamin C was effective in boosting the effect of some cancer drugs, too.
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