News

Vitamin C may lower blood pressure

September 1, 2011

There may be a strong association between high vitamin C concentrations, an indicator of fruit and vegetable consumption, and a lower level of blood pressure, says a new study from the UK.

The relationship between plasma vitamin C concentrations, as an indicator of fruit and vegetable intake,
and systolic blood pressure was examined in 20,926 men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 who participated in the population-based ‘European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer-Norfolk Study’ (1). Study results showed that participants with high vitamin C concentrations had lower blood pressure. The likelihood of having high blood pressure was 22% lower for those with the highest concentrations of
vitamin C (> 66 micromole/l) in comparison to those with the lowest concentrations of it (< 41 micromole/l). The results were not altered by adjustments for age, sex, body mass index, cholesterol, prevalent medical conditions, smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, social class, education, or the use of supplements containing vitamin C or antihypertensive medications.

The researchers concluded that there appears to be a strong association between increased vitamin C concentrations and a lower level of blood pressure. This may provide further evidence for the health benefits of diets high in fruit and vegetable consumption. Lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, physical activity, and diet have been identified to influence the risk of cardiovascular disease. These lifestyle factors are also related to risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, and obesity.

References

  1. Myint P.K. et al. Association Between Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Blood Pressure in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer-Norfolk Population-Based Study. Hypertension. 2011; 58:372–379.