Eat plenty of Vitamin C to improve your heart health
Citrus fruits and juices are an essential part of your meals when you need energy boost or you want to recover your energy levels after a long work-out. Vitamin C drinks are known to give you a boost you need. Research studies and clinical data has proved that in order to decrease a life-time risk of cardiac diseases, a regular intake of 300 mg of Vitamin C is needed that can show promising results. 4 effects of Vitamin C that that improves cardiac health and decrease the risk of ischemic heart diseases include:
Function # 1: Maintenance of lipoprotein levels in the blood: Lipoproteins are considered special carrier proteins that carry fatty acids from liver to periphery and from all other tissues back to liver. An abnormally high lipoprotein concentration (especially low density lipo-proteins LDL) is associated with an increased rate of atherosclerosis. The uncontrolled high levels of lipo-protein have a tendency to get deposited in blood vessels, as you can well imagine fat droplets are thick and are slow to move across tiny blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the primary pathologic event in the occurrence of ischemic heart disease as the atherosclerotic plaques block the free flow of blood to the cardiac tissue. Vitamin C helps in the maintenance of LDL levels by oxidation of excess lip-proteins and preventing its deposition in blood vessels.
Function # 2: Maintenance of Cholesterol levels Cholesterol levels are an independent risk factor for development of high blood pressure, ischemic and non-ischemic cardiac issues, stroke and other medical issues. Vitamin C is an essential co-factor that is required for the metabolism of cholesterol by a variety of oxidation enzymes. Secondly, Vitamin C is also required to neutralize free radical formation that occurs in the presence of peripheral cholesterol metabolism. With the help of other cholesterol metabolism and synthetic enzyme, Vitamin C enhance the production of high density Lipo-proteins (HDH) which is the good and heart friendly cholesterol.
Function # 3: Repair of damage Vitamin C has high anti-oxidant potential that neutralize toxic and reactive oxygen species. Apart from preventing damage, Vitamin C also helps in repair and regeneration. This is accomplished by production of new blood vessels. The integrity of any blood vessel is dependent on the strength of its basement membrane. A blood vessel that has weak endothelial lining is more likely to get damaged with minimal trauma. Vitamin C improves the stability of blood vessel by formation of Collagen and fibrin. All these fibers require Vitamin C to form inter-connecting bonds between collagen fibers formed and this inter-lacing communication prevents damage to cardiac blood vessels by physical, chemical or toxic insults.
Function # 4: Control of hypertension The cause of high blood pressure is mostly unknown or idiopathic in about 95% cases and this makes it an important factor in causing cardiac illness. Physician suggests the effective and efficient control of high blood pressure in adults can decrease the risk of cardiac illness to about 50%. The role of Vitamin C in controlling high blood pressure is discussed by Stefano Taddei in his study conducted on hypertensive patients. Stefano Taddei established the role of Vitamin C in causing vaso-dilatation (wider opening of blood vessels) in high blood pressure patients in response to the release of Nitric oxide that is released by endothelial cells. Stefano Taddei observed that in the vitamin C deficient individual, Nitric oxide mediated vaso-dilation is impaired and thus body is unable to control blood pressure. All the above functions of Vitamin C are remarkable in controlling cardiac risk in normal and diseased patients to significant degrees. Experts suggest the requirement of Vitamin C increases in individuals who have certain cardiac risk factors like: – Active history or past history of cigarette smoking. – Family history of cardiac issues – Prior history of cardiac illness – Other significant risk factors like high BMI, sedentary lifestyle and stressful job Doctors suggest consumption of sufficient doses of Vitamin C and as this vitamin is water-soluble, the hazard window is quite broad and most formulations are based on the consumption of 120 mg/day in an average non-smoking adult that has no risk factor. However, if you have any of the above risk factor, you can safely consume up to 300 mg/ day.