Researchers studied 35 obese or overweight adults and compared the effects of supplementing with vitamin C to exercise. Specifically, they studied effects on the protein known as endothelin-1, which constricts blood vessels. Subjects were given either three months of vitamin C supplementation or aerobic exercise training.
The study, presented at the American Physiological Society’s 14th International Conference on endothelin-1 activity, found that daily supplementation of vitamin C at a time-release dose of 500 mg daily reduced endothelin-1- mediated blood vessel constriction as much as walking did.
Vitamin C helps all cells and tissues in the body. But we can’t manufacture it in our bodies, so we must get it from diet or a supplement.
Most patients do not have optimal vitamin C levels and many are deficient. A severe deficiency can lead to scurvy, which — along with subclinical scurvy — is not uncommon.
This study found that just 500 mg per day of extended-release vitamin C reduced endothelin-1- mediated blood vessel constriction as much as walking.
Think about that. Simply taking a safe and inexpensive supplement had as much a positive benefit as walking.
I encourage all of my patients to exercise, and I think walking is an excellent way to move the body. To get the best of both worlds, I suggest walking 30 minutes and taking vitamin C on a daily basis. Between 3,000 and 5,000 mg per day seems optimal for most people.
If you are ill or becoming ill, your vitamin C requirements markedly increase. In this case, I suggest taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance, which can mean 10,000 mg or more per day.
The only side effect with vitamin C dosing is diarrhea. If you get diarrhea from vitamin C, simply lower the dose.
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