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Vitamin C may lower hypertension

Vitamin C may help lower high blood pressure by calming down an overactive central nervous system, according to a small Italian study.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is part of the body’s central nervous system that controls non voluntary activities, such as blood pressure. An over active SNS has been identified in the onset of high blood pressure.

The vitamin C study

Researcher Dr Bruno studied 12 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure with no known cause.

Over 5 minutes the patients were intravenously administered 3 grams of vitamin C, after being monitored for 20 minutes to assess blood pressure and SNS activity.

The researchers found that SNS activity dropped by about 11%. The participants’ blood pressure dropped about 7% on average, with a specific drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number on a reading) of 9%.

Researchers comments

Lead author Dr. Bruno from the University of Pisa said, “Our study demonstrated for the first time in humans that we can reduce sympathetic nervous system over activity, and consequently blood pressure, (by) targeting oxidative stress.”

“Our results cannot be directly translated into clinical practice, because to obtain this result, we used one high dose of vitamin C administrated intravenously.” she added. We don’t know if chronic oral administration of vitamin C can achieve the same effect.”


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