Vitamin C linked to lower blood pressure

According to a new study that examined the results from 29 clinical trials, people with high blood pressure who took 500mg on vitamin C daily for 8 weeks saw a significant drop in their blood pressure readings.

Blood pressure is measured using two readings; systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The former, Systolic records the pressure of the heart beats and the diastolic records the inter-beat pressure. According to the Blood Pressure Association, high blood pressure is a reading in excess of 140/90. Blood pressure readings above this rate can increase risk of stroke, heart attack as well as increasing risk of illnesses such as diabetes.

The research that examined the results of 1,400 people aged between 22 and 74 who took varying levels of vitamin C supplements for different amounts of time. Across all of the studies that were included in the review, some included healthy participants and others included people diagnosed with hypertension. Taking vitamin C supplements at a dose of about 500 milligrams a day appeared to reduce systolic blood pressure by nearly 4 points and diastolic pressure by about 1.5 points over a period of about two months.

Increasing vitamin C intake could be done by including red peppers, kiwi fruits, oranges and grapefruits into a balanced diet . All of these fruits are known to be high dietary sources of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

Clinical trials still need to be undertaken to establish the long term effects of a relatively large dose of vitamin C on both blood pressure and general health.

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