C and Cardiovascular Disease

Vitamin C deficiency is thought to be part of the underlying cause cardiovascular disease. Humans do not have the ability to make vitamin C; they must get it though their diet. Vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen which is the glue for specialized tissues that hold us together, such as skin, cartilage, tendon, and bone. Vitamin C is also responsible for maintaining strength in the blood vessels. Scurvy is the condition that results when we are deficient in vitamin C. Symptoms of scurvy include poor wound healing, bleeding gums, edema, extreme weakness and “pinpoint” hemorrhages under the skin.
One of the interesting theories on atherosclerosis is that we may have developed the ability to deposit lipoproteins (plaque) along our artery walls to increase our chances of surviving during vitamin C deficient times. In other words, arterial plaque may be what kept us from bleeding to death during long winters when we had less access to foods rich in vitamin C.
Fibrinogen and apoprotein are the two groups of proteins that normally accumulate at injury sites in the arteries to carry out repairs to damaged artery walls. The apoproteins have a natural affinity with fat and become lipoprotein A which can repair damaged or leaky blood vessels. However, this also increases the risk of heart disease by building up deposits on the artery wall. In fact, of all the factors that can be measured, a person’s level of lipoprotein A is the best indicator of risk of arterial plaque.
Deficiency of vitamin C raises blood levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein A while lowering the beneficial HDL cholesterol. Conversely, increasing vitamin C intake lowers LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein A levels while increasing the good HDL cholesterol. Vitamin C also inhibits excessive cholesterol production and helps convert cholesterol to bile.
One study showed that a daily 500 mg of vitamin C led to a reduction in atherosclerotic deposits within two to six months. Another interesting fact supporting this theory is that heart attacks and strokes are more common in the winter than in the spring and summer when vitamin C rich fruits are available.
The recommended dosage for reducing atherosclerosis is somewhere between 3 and 10 grams of vitamin C per day along with 3 grams per day of the amino acid l-lysine. Please note that the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C is not a good form of C unless it is mixed with some other forms along with some bioflavonoids.

About NaturalCowgirl

Margaret Durst has been involved with natural health for over 20 years. In her early 30s, she was faced with a medical diagnosis that recommended a lifetime of prescription drugs. In her heart, she knew that there must be an alternative way to healing and health and thus began her journey into natural health. Along the way, Margaret has trained with many different natural health practitioners and earned a degree in Naturopathy. She established her nutritional consulting practice and opened The Green House in 2003 to enable her mission of helping people navigate the natural health maze. People have praised Margaret for intuitive ability to help people address their health issues and goals with diet and lifestyle choices and successfully take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. This comes from Margaret’s deeply held beliefs in the body’s innate ability to heal and in the tools nature provides for health and healing.
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