We have known Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage and helps promote immune, eye, bone and joint health. Recently, experts have discovered the role of Vitamin C in supporting heart health.
How Vitamin C helps the heart
- Prevents coronary artery disease by enhancing the body’s level of natural glutathione, a potent free radical scavenger that protects the arteries.
- Strengthens the blood vessel walls by enabling the synthesis of collagen in the connective tissue of the arterial walls.
- Improves vasodilation by increasing the availability of nitric oxide, a vasodilation promoter when needed.
It has also been found that daily doses of vitamin C may have a similar effect as walking. In a study presented at the American Physiological Society's 14th International Conference on Endothelin, thirty-five sedentary, obese and overweight adults who took 500 mg of Vitamin C daily have reduced endothelin-1 mediated vessel constriction as much as those who walked daily. Endothelin1 activity is known to be higher in those who are overweight and obese. Vitamin C, therefore, represents an effective lifestyle strategy for people who do not engage in recommended levels of physical activity.
Ascorbate form is as good as pure Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid (also known as hydrogen ascorbate) contains 100 percent vitamin C. Its alkaline counterpart, mineral ascorbates (e.g. calcium ascorbate containing 890 to 910 mg ascorbic acid and 90 to 110 mg calcium per 1000 mg) is readily absorbed in the body, and has reduced side effects such as diarrhea, upset stomach or heartburn, normally observed in pure Vitamin C form.
What are the best sources of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an “essential” nutrient, meaning our bodies do not manufacture it. Aside from supplements, it is also important to eat vitamin C-rich foods, including broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries and citrus fruits, such as pink grapefruit and oranges.