By Andrea K. Walker
4:20 PM EDT, April 18, 2012
Large doses of Vitamin C may moderately reduce blood pressure, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.
But the scientists don't recommend people start taking large amounts of the vitamin.
Researchers led by Dr. Edgar "Pete" R. Miller, an associate professor in the division of general interal medicine at Hopkins, reviewed and analyzed data from 29 previous clinical trials and found that taking 500 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, or five times the recommended amount, could lower blood pressure by 3.84 millimeters.
“Although our review found only a moderate impact on blood pressure, if the entire U.S. population lowered blood pressure by 3 milliliters of mercury, there would be a lot fewer strokes,” Miller said in a statement.
However, Miller warned that none of the studies showed that vitamin C directly prevents or reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, including stroke.
Scientists have focused on vitamin C’s potential role in blood pressure reduction because of its biological and physiological effects. It may act as a diuretic, causing the kidneys to remove more sodium and water from the body. This helps to relax the blood vessel walls and in turn lowers blood pressure.
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