Vitamin C should get at least a B for the role it plays in regulating blood pressure. Two studies have shown that people with high levels of vitamin C in their blood tend to have low blood pressure.
The link between low vitamin C and high blood pressure
Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia found that 67 men and women with high levels of vitamin C in their blood averaged a blood pressure reading of 104/65. Others with one-fifth those blood levels of vitamin C, but still within acceptable healthy levels, averaged blood pressure readings of 111/73.
Researchers at Tuffs University checked 241 elderly Chinese-Americans and found the same result. The lower the blood levels of vitamin C, the higher the blood pressure. And in two other smaller studies, people who took 1000mg of vitamin C a day reduced their systolic blood pressure by 4-8 points over 4 weeks.
Vitamin C builds strong blood vessels
The jury is definitely not in on vitamin C, but chances are good that it can lower blood pressure. Scientists think that vitamin C helps keep the collagen healthy, which strengthens and supports blood vessel walls which makes them more resistant to high blood pressure.
How to increase your daily vitamin C intake
If you prefer not to take supplements, some great natural sources are:
- Kiwi fruit (2 contain 145 mg)
- Orange juice (1 cup contains 105 mg)
- Papaya (1 cup contains 87 mg)
- Strawberries (1 cup contains 83 mg)
- Raw broccoli (1 cup contains 82 mg)
- Grape fruit(1 cup contains 79 mg)
- Green or red pepper (1/2 contains 76 mg)
The current recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 60mg per day, although some scientists believe it should be higher.