Vitamin C and High-Fat Meals
Vitamin C can counteract the heart-damaging effects that occur after a high-fat meal, according to a report published in Clinical Cardiology. Researchers studied whether vitamin C could impact the raised triglyceride concentrations that occur after the consumption of a high-fat meal. It is thought that these raised post-meal triglycerides contribute to the processes leading up to heart attacks by increasing free radical damage to blood vessels.
Researchers studied 74 patients with coronary heart disease and 50 healthy people at risk for heart disease. The two groups of subjects were divided into subgroups. One group received 2 grams of vitamin C after eating a high-fat meal and the other group ate a high-fat meal without receiving vitamin C.
The researchers discovered that post-meal serum triglyceride levels increased significantly two to five hours after the high-fat meal in all groups. In subjects with and without heart disease who did not take vitamin C, the post-meal flow-www.ed dilatation (in other words, the expansion of the blood vessels, allowing adequate blood flow through the arteries) was significantly decreased. In the subjects taking vitamin C, the study authors could find no significant change in the flow-www.ed dilatation, indicating that vitamin C could protect against the negative effects high triglyceride levels have on blood vessels. According to the researchers, Vitamin C treatment has a promising benefit for patients with coronary heart disease.
Vitamin C Levels Associated with Premature Births
Low vitamin C intake before or during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of premature delivery, according to a study reported at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicines in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 18, 2002.
In the recent study, researchers asked more than 2,000 female participants to describe their intake of specific foods before they conceived and during their second trimester of pregnancy. The researchers noted that the women who reported low intake of vitamin C containing foods were more likely to experience a rupture in their placental membranes, leading to premature birth.
Prior to pregnancy, women who consumed less than 21 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C daily and who were in the bottom 10th percentile of vitamin C intake were twice as likely to experience a premature ruptured membrane during pregnancy. Women who consumed less than 65 mg daily of vitamin C during their second trimester of pregnancy (women in the bottom 10th percentile of vitamin C intake), experienced a 70% increase in risk of suffering a premature ruptured membrane.
Only 28% of the women reported taking vitamin C supplements before conception. However, 80% said they had taken a multivitamin by the 30th week of pregnancy.
Vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening the collagen that forms the fetal membrane. In vitamin Cs absence, the collagen weakens, and the fetal membrane, connected to the placenta, can rupture, leading to premature birth.
The fact that starting vitamin C consumption after pregnancy did not confer complete protection on this group of women suggests females of childbearing age should consume adequate vitamin C prior to conceiving.
Vitamin C Levels Predict Cerebrovascular Health in Overweight Men
Researchers in Finland have determined that plasma vitamin C levels can predict the risk of stroke in patients with high blood pressure and in overweight individuals.
The study, which lasted more than 10 years, focused on 2,419 randomly selected middle-aged men, 42 to 60 years old, with no history of stroke. During the study, 120 men suffered a stroke.
The researchers determined that men who had the lowest levels of plasma vitamin C had a 2.4-fold higher risk of any stroke compared with men with highest levels of plasma vitamin after adjustment for age and examination months. Furthermore, hypertensive men with the lowest vitamin C levels had a 2.6-fold higher risk and overweight men with low plasma vitamin C had a 2.7-fold higher risk for stroke after adjustment for age, examination months, and other risk factors. According to the researchers, Low plasma vitamin C was associated with increased risk of stroke, especially among hypertensive and overweight men.
Vitamin C Supports Heart Health in Women
A new study indicates that taking vitamin C supplements lower the risk of coronary heart disease in women.Researchers used the answers to a detailed food-frequency questionnaire administered to 85,118 female nurses in 1980, which assessed the subjects consumption of vitamin C and other nutrients. Nurses were followed up for 16 years to see how many developed coronary heart disease.
During follow-up, there were 1,356 incident cases of coronary heart disease. After adjustment for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors, researchers noted that the women who had the highest total intake of vitamin C had the lowest risk for coronary heart disease. Among women who did not use vitamin C supplements or multivitamins, there was only a weak and non-significant link between the association of vitamin C intake from diet alone and incidence of coronary heart disease. Vitamin C supplement use, on the other hand, was associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease. According to the researchers, Users of vitamin C supplements appear to be at lower risk for coronary heart disease.
Vitamin C Intake & HDL Cholesterol
Vitamin C intake has been positively correlated with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease in several epidemiological studies. This has usually been attributed to the fact that high plasma concentrations of vitamin C are associated with low levels of plasma cholesterol, and vitamin Cs direct relationship with the desirable high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. While vitamin C deficiency has clearly been shown to cause hypercholesterolemia, the relationship of vitamin C to cholesterol in persons ingesting adequate amounts of vitamin C has been unclear.
Vitamin C Supports Immunity in Children
Some, but not all, of more than 20 studies evaluating the effectiveness of vitamin C for the common cold have found that preventive vitamin C supplementation reduces the annual number of colds children catch. Most studies show that vitamin C taken during a cold results in milder symptoms and reduces the duration by about a third.1 A study of 642 children between the ages of 8 and 9 found that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day for three months reduced the severity and duration of colds, but not the number of colds. 2 Based on these findings, it makes more sense to increase vitamin C intake at the onset of cold symptoms rather than as a preventive measure.
Many holistic practitioners recommend that children 1 to 3 years old take 500 mg of vitamin C and that children four years and older take 1,000 mg to 1.500 mg daily in divided doses. If vitamin C produces diarrhea, parents should decrease the dosage.
Vitamin C Supports Lung Health
Individuals who consume the most vitamin C have healthier lungs, according to a recent follow-up study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Past studies indicate that vitamin C and other antioxidant vitamins and minerals may prevent asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of illnesses that includes bronchitis and emphysema. These antioxidants are thought to keep lungs healthy because they can quench free radicals that contribute to aging and disease.
In their first study conducted in 1991, scientists at the University of Nottingham in the UK studied more than 2,600 adults and found that high levels of vitamin C and magnesium both corresponded with healthier lungs based on a measure of lung function called forced expiratory volume 1, or FEV1. Nine years later, in a recently published study, the researchers followed up with slightly more than half of the original study subjects. The follow-up confirmed the results of the initial findings.
The researchers concluded that high vitamin C and magnesium intake are linked to more efficient lung function, especially vitamin C. During the 9 years between the first study and follow-up, the subjects with higher intake of vitamin C experienced less severe lung function decline than those with lower levels of intake.
Vitamin C and E Intake May Be Associated with Cognitive Health
A new study indicates that people who consume both vitamin C and vitamin E supplements may have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimers disease.
Past studies have shown that antioxidants may protect the aging brain against oxidative damage associated with changes that occur during Alzheimers disease. Consequently, in the current study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University examined the relationship between antioxidant supplement use and risk of Alzheimers disease. Use of vitamin E and C (ascorbic acid) supplements in combination was associated with a nearly 78 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimers. Subjects who used vitamin E supplements together with multivitamins containing vitamin C also experienced a lower risk of Alzheimers. However, use of vitamin E or vitamin C supplements alone was not linked to a reduced Alzheimers risk.