RESULTS: We found strong inverse trends for blood ascorbate concentrations with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, which were only marginally reduced after adjustment for confounders or supplement use. Those in the lowest fifth (<> 66 micromol/L) had a mortality risk nearly half that (hazard ratio = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.84). Similar results were found after the exclusion of those subjects with cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline (hazard ratio = 0.51; 0.28, 0.93). In fully adjusted models, there was no evidence for an influence of alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, or retinol on total mortality. Dietary antioxidants measured by the food-frequency questionnaire were not associated with all-cause or cardiovascular disease mortality.
CONCLUSION: Low blood vitamin C concentrations in the older British population are strongly predictive of mortality.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Nov;78(5):999-1010.
Gary Moller comments:
The research literature is increasingly peppered with research studies like the one above. The focus of heart disease prevention in recent decades has been on lowering blood cholesterol levels; but has this been misguided?
Fact: Cholesterol is essential for life. It is an important substance used by the body to make steroid hormones such as estrogen, and testosterone and it accounts for one half the dry weight of the brain. Cholesterol is present in all the cell membranes. When cholesterol is reduced too low you get blood sugar problems, oedema, mineral deficiencies, chronic inflammation, and difficulty in healing, allergies, asthma, reduced libido, infertility, depression and brain fog - to name some!
When cholesterol levels plummet with a fat free diet and medication, so does the person's health.
Serum Cholesterol levels below 160 mg/dL (below 4.1 mmol per liter) are considered sub-optimal (persons with sub-optimal Cholesterol levels have a greater incidence of Stroke, Lung Ailments, some types of Cancer and Alcoholism).
It may be that it is the byproducts of oxidised cholesterol that does the damage to arterial walls, leading to arteriosclerosis and consequent heart attack or stroke. The key to heart health may be in strategies to prevent fat oxidation in the circulating blood. This is achieved by having a diet that is rich in antioxidants beginning with vitamin C. As reported in the study above, vitamin C has a cardio protective effect. About 1-2,000 mg per day would appear to be about right.