Growing Populations with Hypertension
Did you know? About 1/3 of the U.S. population has high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Vitamin C may be a part of the solution to the hypertension that runs rampant worldwide.
How Can Vitamin C Help Lower Blood Pressure?
Ascorbate (Alkalini-C) increases intracellular concentrations of an important cofactor for nitric oxide production, as well as enhancing bioactivity of nitric oxide itself. Nitric oxide is a natural vasodilator within the body, and its proper functioning helps decrease blood pressure.
Additionally, supplementing with vitamin C has been shown to improve the endothelial function of the brachial and coronary arteries.
Several studies have documented both the association between vitamin C and blood pressure and the positive effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure.
- A meta-analysis of several randomized controlled trials showed that supplementing with an average of just 500 mg of vitamin C decreased blood pressure in both normotensive and hypertensive people.
- A pooled analysis of this same study found that vitamin C supplementation significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (Juraschek et al. 2012)
- A large study of 20,926 men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 found that the likelihood of having high blood pressure was 22% lower for those within the top quartiles of plasma vitamin C levels when compared to those in the lowest quartile. (Myint et al. 2011)
- In humans exposed to stressful situations, treatment with high dose ascorbic acid (1,000 mg, 3x/day) attenuated expected increases in blood pressure while also attenuating increases in subjective stress. This shows potential for vitamin C treatment in not only controlling blood pressure, but also for controlling stress levels. (Brody et al. 2002)
Brody, S., R. Preut, K. Schommer, and T. H. Schurmeyer. 2002. A randomized controlled trial of high dose ascorbic acid for reduction of blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective responses to psychological stress. Psychopharmacology 159(3):319-324.
Juraschek, S. P., E. Guallar, L. J. Appel, and E. R. Miller III. 2012. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95(5):1079-1088.
Myint P. K., R. N. Luben, N. J. Wareham, and K. T. Khaw. 2011. Association between plasma vitamin C concentrations and blood pressure in the European prospective investigation into cancer-Norfolk population-based study. Hypertension 58(3):372-379.