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Vitamin C may reduce blood pressure

Vitamin C may reduce blood pressure

vitamin pillsTaking large doses of vitamin C may slightly reduce blood pressure.

Scientists at John Hopkins University who have analysed years of research and come up with this conclusion have stopped short, however, of recommending that people take these high doses.

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient found primarily in fruits and vegetables.

The researchers found that taking five times the recommended daily requirement (500 milligrams) reduced blood pressure by just under four millimeters of mercury in the short term.

In people with high blood pressure the drop was more marked at nearly five millimeters of mercury.

By comparison patients who take blood pressure medication can expect a drop of about 10 millimeters of mercury.

The high doses were the equivalent of a bout six cups of orange juice producing about 500mg of the vitamin compared to the recommended daily dose of 90mg.

Vitamin C may act as a diuretic which makes the kidneys remove more sodium and water from the body and thus helps to lower blood pressure.

“People love to take vitamins regardless of the evidence or lack of it,” says Edgar Miller, Associate Professor at the Department of Internal Medicine.

“We’re trying to raise the bar and provide evidence-based guidance about whether supplements help or actually do harm.”

With respect to vitamin C, he says, the jury is still out

The scientists say they need more research to understand the implications of taking high doses of the Vitamin.

The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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