High blood level of Vitamin C linked to lower blood pressure

January 12, 2009

A study in young adult women links high blood levels of Vitamin C with lower blood pressure. This "strongly suggests that Vitamin C is specifically important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure," lead author Dr. Gladys Block, of the University of California, Berkeley said in an interview with Reuters Health. Previous research linked high plasma levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure among middle-age and older adults, typically those who develop higher blood pressure readings.
The current study involved 242 black and white women between the ages of 18 to 21 They had normal blood pressure when they had entered the trial at the ages of 8 to 11. Over a 10-year period, their plasma levels of Vitamin C and blood pressure were monitored.
At year 10, Block and her colleagues found that blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic (top and bottom) reading, was inversely associated with Vitamin C levels.
Specifically, women with the highest levels of Vitamin C had a decline of about 4.66 mm Hg in systolic and 6.04 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure compared with women with the lowest Vitamin C levels. This difference still held true after researchers allowed for differences in body mass, race, education levels, and dietary fat and sodium intake.

The study is published in the December 17th, 2008 issue of the Nutrition Journal.