You already know that there are numerous reasons to take vitamin C: from immune boosting to free-radical fighting, it’s easy to do and it just makes sense. But here’s another, very concrete reason to take it: It might help lower your blood pressure.
In a review study* that was published in a recent issue of the journal American Society for Nutrition, Dr. Edgar R. Miller III and his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD analyzed data from 29 different clinical trials and about 1,400 adults aged 22 to 74. The median dose of supplemental vitamin C taken by the participants was 500 milligrams a day over a median of an eight-week period. In people who had high blood pressure, systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) dropped by nearly 5 points, while diastolic pressure (the bottom number) dropped by about 1.7 points.
While these results appear to be pretty modest, Dr. Miller points out that if the entire U.S. population lowered their blood pressure by 3 points, there would be fewer strokes. He also points out that further study needs to be done to confirm this connection, though many past research has suggested a connection between supplemental and food-source vitamin C and reduced blood pressure.
Whether continued use (beyond eight weeks) of the vitamin C would result in more pronounced reductions remains to be seen, and further study is needed to better understand the connection.