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Vitamin C Could Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of vitamin C on blood pressure. This is the first meta-analysis that has investigated the relationship between intake of this essential nutrient and blood pressure.

Their findings were published online ahead of print on April 4, 2012, in the American Journal of Nutrition.

The study included 29 clinical trials that took place between 1966 and 2011. The trials had a median dose of 500 mg, a median timeframe of 8 weeks and ranged in size from 10 to 120 participants.

After pooling and examining the data, the researchers noted vitamin C supplementation in individuals without hypertension was associated with reductions in systolic (top number in a reading) and diastolic (bottom number in a reading) blood pressure by 3.84 and 1.48 mg, respectively. Individuals with hypertension had even more significant results, with 4.85 mg reductions in systolic blood pressure and 1.67 mg reductions in diastolic blood pressure.

The researchers noted, however, that the studies they examined were small and often times short term. They hope their analysis will encourage further, more extensive studies into the effects of vitamin C on hypertension.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that has been linked to numerous other health benefits, including immune system function, heart health, brain health, eye health and improved mood. It can be found in high levels in citrus fruits and dark leafy greens such as cantaloupe, oranges, kiwis, papaya, broccoli and kale.

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