Here at Alkaline for Life, we often discuss the vast benefits of vitamin C, particularly in the form of fully buffered, fully reduced ascorbate. Every other day we find a new and exciting article on the value of ascorbate. Recently, we came across this cohort study that looked at plasma concentrations of vitamin C and all-cause mortality. We found it rather intriguing. Here’s the story.
This British study in The Lancet (1) looked at plasma ascorbic acid concentration in 19,496 men and women aged 45 to 79 from the EPIC-Norfolk Cohort. Participants were separated by sex and quintiles of ascorbic acid concentration in the blood, and were followed up for cause of death 4 years later (if death occurred). Here are some of their most interesting findings.
Those in the highest quintile of blood vitamin C level fared much better than those in the lowest quintile of vitamin C level. They simply died much less over the 4 years, and had a vast reduction in death from heart disease, and an impressive reduction in cancer mortality.
As remarkable as the reduction in mortality was, those with higher levels of vitamin C also experienced many other important benefits.
- There was an association between vitamin C level and history of diabetes. The more vitamin C, the less diabetes.
- Ascorbic acid concentration was inversely related to blood pressure and BMI.
- Ascorbic acid concentration was positively related to HDL (good cholesterol).
- Even just a 50-gram-per-day increase in fruit and vegetable intake, or a 20 umol/L increase in plasma ascorbic acid, was associated with a 20% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality.
Alkaline for Life Comment:
Here at Alkaline for Life, we know that most of us benefit from a higher intake of vitamin C, especially in its fully buffered ascorbate form. Because of its many crucial roles in the body and its potent antioxidant capacity, it is not unexpected that those with higher plasma vitamin C levels would have significantly lower risk of death from all causes. This study looked at more than 19,000 participants, and showed statistically significant reduction in mortality risk with increasing amounts of vitamin C in the blood.
- Khaw, K. T., et al. 2001. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. The Lancet 357(9257):657–663. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)04128-3.