Taking a daily vitamin C supplement provides some of the same heart benefits as exercise, a new study finds.
People who are overweight or obese are often advised to exercise more, but studies show that less than half of them do, putting them at risk for heart attacks and other serious health issues.
Those who are overweight or obese often have high levels of a health-damaging protein called endothelin (ET)-1. The protein causes blood vessels to constrict, raising the risk for heart attack and other problems.
Daily exercise reduces the activity level of (ET)-1, but most people who are too heavy either can’t or won’t increase their exercise in a meaningful way.
However, University of Colorado researchers discovered that taking vitamin C reduces (ET)-1.
Taking a daily vitamin C time-release supplement of 500 mg provided the same cardiovascular benefits to overweight and obese individuals as walking for exercise did, the researchers said at a scientific conference in Savannah, Ga.
The scientists recommended the supplements for people who are overweight and get little exercise, noting that vitamin C is inexpensive and has few, if any, side effects when taken at the levels in the study.
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