Blood pressure benefits of vitamin C—only halfway there

There has been more evidence on the potential health benefits of vitamin C than almost any other nutrient. And yet, as I discussed in my special report Classified Cancer Answers, the NCI (National Cancer Institute) failed to conduct a clinical trial on its cancer-preventing abilities. They claimed it had actually been “given a bad name” by the efforts of two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling to promote its scientifically proven benefits for preventing everything from cancer to the common cold.

Researchers have also had evidence that vitamin C can lower blood pressure for a long time. But once again research funds were not made available to sufficiently test this benefit in clinical trials—until now.

Recently, researchers at Johns Hopkins found sufficient evidence from research studies that a 500 mg daily dose of vitamin C can lower blood pressure by 5 mm Hg. (Granted, 500 mg of vitamin C is higher than the RDA. But it is still a very reasonable—and safe—daily dose.)

Although the cardiovascular risks associated with high blood pressure have been known for many years, medical experts are finally starting to realize that even slightly elevated levels are risky. So it’s worth reducing blood pressure by every point.

However, it’s important to keep this news in perspective.

While it can help you shave a few points off of your blood pressure readings—and likely help you cut back on the amount of medication you’re taking—vitamin C simply isn’t as potent as drugs. Plus, there are no clear protocols for managing blood pressure purely with natural products (like vitamin C). And high blood pressure is just too deadly to “experiment” with.

So by all means use vitamin C—for lots of reasons. But don’t rely on it in place of the effective blood pressure medications available today. Work with your doctor to get high blood pressure under control swiftly and efficiently with drugs. Then work to address underlying causes through  lifestyle and dietary modifications, which can include supplementationwith vitamin C and other nutrients known to support the heart.

1. “Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled