Scientists have discovered that taking a daily dose of vitamin C can help to protect against vascular diseases in those who are overweight.
A new study claims that daily supplements of vitamin C could be as beneficial as walking with regards to improving heart health in overweight people.
Researchers have discovered that taking the equivalent of one Berocca tablet every day can have similar cardiovascular benefits to regular exercise.
Blood vessels in people who are obese show higher activity of endothelin-1 (ET-1) the small vessel-constricting protein.
Vessels with high ET-1 activity are more likely to constrict.
The narrowing of blood vessels often makes them less able to cope with the fluctuating demands on blood flow, which increases a person’s risk of vascular disease.
Results from previous studies has suggested that exercise helps to reduce the activity of ET-1, however many people argue that they struggle to find time to incorporate exercise into their daily routines.
The study was carried out at the University of Colorado and examined whether supplements of vitamin C can lower ET-1 activity as well as improving vessel function.
Scientists analysed 35 sedentary, overweight adults over a 3 month period. 20 of the participants took supplements daily, whereas 15 performed daily exercise training in the form of aerobics.
The study revealed that a daily dose of vitamin C at 500 mg reduced ET-1 related vessel constriction just as much as walking did.
The NHS currently recommends that adults consume 40 mg of vitamin C every day and states that a healthy diet provides all the necessary vitamin C.
An orange contains on average around 45 mg of vitamin C and a Berocca tablet contains 476 mg.
Consuming too much vitamin C (more than 1,000 mg a day) can lead to stomach pain, cramps and diarrhoea.
Yet previous studies have discovered the nutrient can help people who endure heavy physical stress, for example marathon runners, to prevent catching a cold.
In 2013, it was revealed that taking vitamin C could cut the risk of developing an attack induced by exercise in asthma sufferers.
The findings from the University of Colorado are being shown in Savannah at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin, courtesy of the American Physiological Society.