Taking supplements of vitamin C may reduce the risk of a person developing cardiovascular disease, a study by the University of Colorado has found.
The study, presented at the American Physiological Society's 14th International Conference on Endothelin, examined 35 overweight or obese adults over a period of three months. Twenty of the participants took supplements of 500mg of vitamin c each day, while the other 15 took part in aerobic exercise for 20 minutes each day. The researchers then measured the patients’ blood flow.
Caitlin Dow, the author of the study, said: ‘The application of this study is still fairly limited. This study indicates that vitamin C supplementation is as effective as exercise in reducing ET-1 system activity, a system that causes blood vessel constriction, in adults with overweight and obesity.’
The study found that taking supplements of vitamin C each day reduced Endothelin-1, the protein that constricts and narrows veins, leading to cases of heart disease. The authors of the study suggest that supplementing vitamin C could be as effective as regular exercise in combatting cases of cardiovascular disease.
Ms Dow added: ‘For those who can't do regular aerobic exercise, vitamin C may be a feasible lifestyle strategy for improving vascular function. More research will be needed to determine if/how vitamin C compares to exercise in other physiological systems and in other populations.’