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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vitamin C Beneficial for Patients with Heart Failure

People with heart failure who are not getting enough vitamin C in food intake is almost 2 times more likely to suffer from heart failure, compared to those get enough vitamin C intake.

People who intake of vitamin C are low also more than twice the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in blood. Where levels of CRP have been linked to heart disease.

"This study is the first study to show that people with heart failure with adequate intake of vitamin C in diet will live longer. Vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help people with heart failure to relieve inflammatory conditions in the body," said researcher Grace Song, PhD, RN, assistant professor of the department of nursing, University of Ulsan, South Korea as reported by WebMD, Wednesday (16/11/2011).

Other researchers say it is not at all clear that vitamin C by itself can improve heart health. People who get enough vitamin C in the daily diet by eating lots of fruits and vegetables can be healthy overall.

"So far we have seen is that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk of heart disease," said Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, a nutritionist at Tufts University, Boston.

Foods rich in vitamin C include cantaloupe, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, oranges, papaya and kiwi. Based on the findings, people with heart failure should not take supplements of vitamin C.

"The results have shown that vitamin C supplements does not improve the health of people with heart failure," said Lichtenstein. The results have been presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

The study has involved 212 people with heart failure. Their average age was 61 years old, and about a third are women. The researchers kept track of all the foods they eat for 4 days.

The study uses a software program used to calculate the intake of vitamin C. A total of 39 percent is not getting enough vitamin C in their diet, according to the criteria established by the Institute of Medicine.

The study participants were also given a blood test to measure CRP. Then participants were monitored for 1 year, during which time the number of 61 patients, or 29 percent were hospitalized or die from heart disease.

Participants with intake of vitamin C are lower are more likely to have a shorter time in hospital before dying from heart problems.

The study was funded by the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Nursing Research. The study has indeed been presented at a medical conference.

However, it should be considered preliminary because they have not undergone the peer review process. Where in the process outside experts examine the data before it is published in a medical journal. So that still needs to be done several studies to confirm and support the research.

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