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Vitamin C, Hearth Health and Oxidation

By | Eating, heart disease, Vitamin C | No Comments

Many people think that vitamin C is an unimportant nutrient, but nothing could be further from the truth. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant. It was first made famous by the work of Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Laureate who pioneered much of the research on the health benefits of vitamin C, particularly with Heart Disease.

There are two types of cholesterol, and even more sub-categories. HDL has been described by experts as good cholesterol and LDL has been described as bad cholesterol. Think of HDL like garbage trucks and your blood vessels as major roadways. One of the reasons that doctors and dietary experts promote higher levels of HDL is that HDL transports cholesterol particles back to your liver for disposal in a process called reverse cholesterol transport.

During inflammatory conditions involving oxidative stress, HDL becomes pro-atherogenic rather than athero-protective.  In addition to taking measures to raise your good cholesterol, what else can be done to help prevent or treat heart disease? Lets start by making sure the good and the bad cholesterol does not become oxidized. Consuming foods that have high levels of antioxidants would be a good start, but supplementation may be an option too.

Vitamin C is one of those antioxidants that have been shown to have protective properties.  This good HDL has been demonstrated to be susceptible to oxidation, which can prevent its cardio-protective properties. However, a study in the Journal of Nutrition has shown that Vitamin c inhibits oxidation in human HDL. MORE Read More