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Got hypertension? Take vitamin C supplements

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By David Liu PHD


Sunday Oct 07, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking high doses of vitamin C supplements helps lower blood pressure, according to a recent analysis of clinical trials published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Edgar R Miller III at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, MD and colleagues conducted the study and found supplementation of vitamin C lowered  both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) significantly in hypertensive patients.

Observational studies have showed that increased vitamin C intake through diet or supplementation and high serum levels of vitamin C were associated with lower blood pressure.

The researchers reviewed 21 clinical trials published in MEDLINE, EMBASE and Central database from 1966 to 2011 to examine the effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure.

The clinical trials used an average dose of 500 mg/day for a median duration of eight weeks in 10 to 120 participants.  

The average decrease in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure due to vitamin C supplementation was -3.84 mm Hg and -1.48 mm Hg, respectively, both of which were statistically significant.  

In trials of hypertensive patients, the average reduction in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were slightly greater, -4.85 mm Hg and -1.67 mm Hg, respectively. The reductions were statistically significant.

The researchers concluded "In short-term trials, vitamin C supplementation reduced SBP and DBP. Long-term trials on the effects of vitamin C supplementation on BP and clinical events are needed."

High blood pressure or hypertension is linked to heart disease.  Vitamin C supplementation may save thousands or even tens of thousands of people by lowering their blood pressure.
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