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Vitamin C lowers heart risk-but only if you take 10 times the RDA
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The benefits of vitamin C seem to go on and on: now taking a supplement every day can reduce your risk of heart disease if you're overweight, and it could be as beneficial as exercising

The benefits of vitamin C seem to go on and on: now taking a supplement every day can reduce your risk of heart disease if you're overweight, and it could be as beneficial as exercising.

But to get the real benefits, you need to be taking an amount that is more than 10 times greater than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Health officials reckon we should be supplementing with 40mg of the vitamin every day, but researchers estimate that overweight people need to be taking 500mg a day before they start reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

To measure the benefits of vitamin C, researchers at the University of Colorado measured the levels of the protein ET-1 in the blood of 20 overweight volunteers, whose progress was matched against a group of 15 others, who instead carried out regular aerobic exercise.

Levels of the ET-1 protein are an indicator of likely constriction or narrowing of the smaller blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease and heart attack.

Although exercise has been proven to lower ET-1 levels, it's often difficult to get the overweight to start regular exercise.
In their study, the researchers discovered that the supplement was as successful as exercise at lowering levels of the protein.

The researchers used the Berocca vitamin C tablets for their study. Each tablet contains 476mg of the vitamin, compared to just 45mg in an orange.

(Source: Proceedings of the American Physiological Society's 14th International Conference, September 7th, 2015)


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