A new study has found that taking vitamin C supplements have a great health benefit for obese and overweight people – they present “an effective lifestyle strategy” when it comes to reducing the increased blood vessel constriction found in obese and overweight individuals.
Admittedly, the study was a small one, however the results still indicated that vitamin C supplements may be of great value to those who don’t have time to exercise.
Researchers from the University of Colorado looked at 35 obese and overweight individuals, and compared the results that vitamin C and the results that physical exercise had on the protein called “endothelin-1” and known for having constricting action on certain blood vessels.
Endothelin-1 is more active in obese and overweight individuals and this causes small blood vessels to constrict more and become less responsive to the blood flow demand. This in turn raises the risk of developing vascular disease.
Previous studies have proven that physical exercise can reduce the activity of the endothelin-1 protein, however most people find it hard to fit this into their everyday schedules.
Keeping this in mind, PhD Caitlin Dow, study leader and postdoctoral research fellow from the University of Colorado (Boulder), has put together a team that examined whether or not vitamin C supplements can have the same effect on endothelin-1. Her reasoning was that vitamin C has also been shown to improve vessel function in previous studies.
For their study, PhD Dow and her colleagues split the 325 subjects in two (2) groups. One was made up of 20 obese and overweight individuals who had to take a daily dose of vitamin C supplements, the other was made up of 15 obese and overweight individuals who had to follow a daily schedule of aerobic exercise training. The experiment lasted for three (3) months.
What’s more, the experts also measured the subjects’ forearm blood flow, as well as their responses to intra-arterial infusion of the protein, both before and after each vitamin C supplement / exercise session.
After analyzing the results of the subjects, the research team concluded that taking vitamin C supplements on a daily basis, in doses of 500 mg every day, does indeed reduce the endothelin-1 protein’s mediated vessel constriction. In fact, they inform that it’s the equivalent of taking a walk.
Both interventions led to a similar increase in vasoconstriction to the protein – around two fold.
And the benefits of vitamin C supplements don’t stop here. Another study from earlier this year has found that the vitamin is also beneficial to athletes and marathon runners who are under heavy physical stress – it reduces their chances of catching a cold.
The findings are set to be presented at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin of the American Physiological Society, in Savannah, GA.
Image Source: pixabay.com