Vitamin C Can Protect the Heart

December 20, 2004

A new meta-analysis was published some weeks ago with the positive conclusion that high doses of Vitamin C can reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis (blood clots) in the heart by 25%.

Nine scientific studies with a total of 290,000 people who did not suffer from cardiac disease were thoroughly analysed by a group of researchers from several large centres in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Israel, and the USA.

In this group, during the course of ten years, approx. 4600 large coronary thromboses were discovered. Then, various factors that could influence this result were analysed.

Documentation that large amounts of fruit and vegetables reduce this cardiovascular risk is vast, and therefore, it was important to the researchers to distinguish between the ones who had only received their vitamins through their diet and the ones who had supplemented their diet with dietary supplements.

The research group found out that a daily dietary supplement with a high dose of Vitamin C with large statistic certainty (p<0.001) could reduce the risk of coronary thrombosis with 25% compared to the ones who did not take any supplements.

The dose of vitamin C to take for this reduced risk to set in was more than 700 mg. a day. This more or less equals the amount of Vitamin C that can be found in: 15 fresh oranges, 35 fresh apples, 75 fresh bananas, or ½ kg. of fresh blackcurrant. These amounts of fruit should be eaten every day – so there must be an easier way!

Moreover, the analysis confirms the results of a study that was made earlier this year that showed that Vitamin C reduces hs-CRP (high-sensitive C-reactive protein), which is a blood test that can predict the cardiac risk in a much more secure way than any cholesterol values in the world.

The analysis could only give weak support to the hypothesis that Vitamin E reduces the risk of coronary thrombosis. This result was not statistically certain.

By: Vitality Council

Knekt P, Heitmann Berit L, Augustsson Katarina et al: Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (vol. 80, issue 6, pp1508-1520, 2004).