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Vitamin C Helps Blood Vessels of Healthy Men

Plasma vitamin C levels were examined for 3,258 healthy men aged 60 to 79 years (free of previous stroke, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes). C-reactive protein, and t-PA antigen levels (a marker for blood vessel dysfunction) were measured. Elevated C-reactive protein is indicative of inflammatory processes and is a risk factor for cardivascular disease.

The men with higher plasma vitamin C, fruit intake and dietary vitamin C had lower C-reactive protein levels and t-PA antigen levels, The authors conclude that, "these findings suggest that vitamin C has anti-inflammatory effects and is associated with lower endothelial dysfunction* in men with no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes."

Wannamethee and others. "Associations of vitamin C status, fruit and vegetable intakes, and markers of inflammation and hemostasis." Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:567-74.

* Editor's Note: Endothelial dysfunction can occur from disease, such as diabetes, or from environmental factors, such as smoking. Endothelial dyfunction can also predict future vascular events such as stroke or heart attacks. A key feature of endothelial dysfucntion is the inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully in response to an appropriate stimulus.

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