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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease

The effort to convince the public that vitamins are hazardous avoid competent medical studies proving otherwise.

You can decide for your self but in my opinion I would certainly add vitamin c to my daily regimen of supplements if not already doing so. It has been known for a very long time that vitamin C is an antioxidant that can prevent cardiovascualr and other disease. It also is one of the best supplements to use to prevent such conditions as 'stones', cataracts, calcium deposits, bone spurs and macular degeneration...more. Vitamin C is also very important for bone health.

The US RDA is 60 mg. daily. This is an arbitrary dose based on some spurious research that this minute amount of vitamin C prevents scurvy.

In reality you require about 3000 mg daily for basic needs since humans, unlike animals, cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. And since this is a water soluble vitamin is is better to take it in divided doses through out the day.

In disease states higher amounts are necessary. Mineral ascorbates are a better choice than plain ascorbic acid, although the cost is higher. Our food based vitamin C blend is available in bulk, C5 or C5+.

We offer a Healthy Handout© to help you determine your level of need for daily vitamin C with a donation to Creating Health Institute.
A 16-year study on the relationship between Vitamin C consumption and heart disease in women shows that Vitamin C supplement users reduce the risk of of non-fatal heart attacks and fatal heart disease by 28%, compared with non-users. The abstract follows.

Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women.
Osganian SK, Stampfer MJ, Rimm E, Spiegelman D, Hu FB, Manson JE, Willett WC.
Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
[Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2003 Jul 16;42(2):246-52].

Users of Vitamin C supplements lower cardio-vascular disease risk

Our objective was to prospectively examine the relation between vitamin C intake and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in women.Results from prospective investigations of the relation between vitamin C intake and risk of CHD have been inconsistent. The lack of clear evidence for a protective association despite a plausible mechanism indicates the need to evaluate further the association between vitamin C intake and risk of CHD.In 1980, 85,118 female nurses completed a detailed semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire that assessed their consumption of vitamin C and other nutrients. Nurses were followed up for 16 years for the development of incident CHD (nonfatal myocardial infarction and fatal CHD).During 16 years of follow-up (1,240,566 person-years), we identified 1,356 incident cases of CHD. After adjustment for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors, we observed a modest significant inverse association between total intake of vitamin C and risk of CHD (relative risk [RR] = 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.57 to 0.94). Among women who did not use vitamin C supplements or multivitamins, the association between intake of vitamin C from diet alone and incidence of CHD was weak and not significant (RR = 0.86; 95% CI 0.59 to 1.26). In multivariate models adjusting for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors, vitamin C supplement use was associated with a significantly lower risk of CHD (RR = 0.72; 95% CI 0.61 to 0.86).Users of vitamin C supplements appear to be at lower risk for CHD.

The full text of this paper is available at:

Health writer Bill Sardi comments on the negative press surrounding vitamin C in his article 'Who is Behind The Negative News Reports On Vitamin C?'

The news media features a report published in Science magazine that high-dose vitamin C in a test-tube causes DNA damage that could lead to cancer. It's not news, since test-tube studies do not correlate with tests conducted in living systems and the dual role of vitamin C as both a pro-oxidant (rusting agent) and anti-oxidant (cell preservative) has been published in scientific journals for some time now. But it's a heralded news story that Reuters Health and the Associated Press embellish with sensational headlines.

Instead of saying "Dual nature of vitamin C in cancer explored," the headlines read "Vitamin C Found to Promote Cancer-Causing Agents." It's yellow journalism at its worst; since a quick search on Medline reveals that high-dose vitamin C did not reveal any toxic by-products in human studies.

The toxic effect is only observed in test tubes.

The lead university researcher, Ian Blair of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Cancer Pharmacology, is conveniently outside the country, so he can't easily respond to questions. Ian Blair, covers his story by saying, "Absolutely, for God's sake, don't say vitamin C causes cancer."

But the headlines read otherwise.

The University of Pennsylvania is the originator of Oncolink, a prestigious online resource of cancer information. But who sponsors Oncolink? Hidden behind the whole affair are Oncolink's sponsors --- the pharmaceutical companies. AstraZeneca, Amgen, Ortho Biotech, Pharmacia, Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Are the drug companies using a major university as their shill to spread misinformation about vitamins?

It is becoming more obvious that misinformation about vitamins, minerals and herbal products is being planted in the news media and published in medical journals in a calculated fashion. The reason is that more and more Americans are taking health care into their own hands and relying less and less on doctors and drugs to cure their ills.

The big secret is that the biological action of virtually every prescription drug can be duplicated with nutritional supplements at far less cost and with fewer side effects. The only way to counter the growing demand for natural remedies is to confuse the public with misinformation.

And the misinformation campaign is working.

The natural products industry reports their growth has leveled off. Vitamin C sales were off by 19.2 percent last year according to a report in Natural Foods Merchandiser.

In the past months dubious negative reports have been published on garlic, St. John's wort, and products containing ephedra. A characteristic of all these reports is their emphatic conclusion that all previous research, which confirmed the validity of these natural remedies, is to be discarded because the latest scientific report reached a contrary conclusion.

Last year the news media made a front-page headline story out of a presentation on vitamin C at the American Heart Association meeting. The study wasn't even published and hadn't undergone peer review, but the news agencies were quick to release a factitious story that high-dose vitamin C could clog arteries in the neck (the carotids). Vitamin C does not clog arteries, but it does strengthen and thicken the walls of arteries via its ability to promote collagen formation.

How do these non-news stories get front-page coverage? It's simple. Public relations agencies have bragged at seminars how they can take a presentation at a medical meeting and get it aired on television and published in newspapers.

These publicity agencies do the dirty work of planting misinformation in the news media. It's propaganda, not news.

The natural products industry is mounting its own public information campaign, to counter negative news stories, and has hired their own agency, Hill & Knowlton of Washington, D.C., to air its side of the story.

There are simply no standards of journalism being upheld here. Bad science gets front-page coverage regardless of whether it is true or not. Journalists aren't checking on the validity of medical reports, and they aren't interviewing opposing views. In the case of the recent vitamin C report, reporters did not interview the National Nutritional Foods Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Vitamin C Foundation, or the American Healthcare Products Association.

But how long can the public be fooled?

Why are the pharmaceutical companies so afraid of a simple vitamin? It's because high doses of vitamin C virtually eradicate the risk of developing cataracts, eliminate the need for blood pressure medication, reduce the need for anti-allergy drugs, reduce the risk of gall stones, and produce many other health benefits. The drug companies can't invent and patent a molecule as efficacious as vitamin C.

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