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Vitamin C Health Risks

Vitamin C Supplements – Are there risks?

Several weeks ago, study results were announced that challenged a lot of common medical advice. Doctors in California said that vitamin C supplements may increase the risk of arterial disease. For years, vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, was recommended for fighting off heart disease, cancer and a variety of other illnesses.

The researchers measured the thickness of neck arteries in more than 500 patients, then interviewed the patients about their supplement use and tested their blood. They found that the men who took more than 500 milligrams a day of vitamin C supplements had arteries that were more than twice as thick as those who didn’t take supplements. Thick arteries are one sign of arterial disease. In smokers, the effect was even more dramatic, with arteries that were five times as thick.

Doctors urge caution about interpreting the results of this one study. There has been a lot of research demonstrating the beneficial effects of vitamin C.

Also, this study only applied to vitamin C taken in supplements, not vitamin C from food. Nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say the good news is that vitamin C is easy to get from your diet. It’s found in citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli, among other fruits and vegetables. If you eat a balanced diet, you probably get enough vitamin C.

SOURCE: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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