Ascorbic acid, HDL, and total plasma cholesterol in the elderly.
The subject of this study was the relationship between blood levels of vitamin C, HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol") and total cholesterol. The study group involved 235 men and 445 women between 60 and 98 years of age. Other factors, such as age, sex, blood sugar levels and alcohol consumption, were also taken into account. It was found that there was a direct correlation between vitamin C levels and HDL cholesterol: the higher the vitamin C intake from diet, the higher the value of "good cholesterol" (HDL). This correlation was particularly significant in the youngest study group (60–69 years of age). More details can be found in the study.
Lipid disorders are characterized by imbalanced levels of fatty substances (i.e. cholesterol and triglycerides) in the bloodstream. These lipids are carried in the blood stream in form of microscopic round particles, called lipoproteins. Thus, these conditions are also called lipoprotein disorders. There are, generally speaking, two types of cholesterol-transporting lipoproteins: a) the “bad cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances to the sites of tissue repair, e.g. in the artery walls; the most common representatives of this group are Low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) and, a newer one, Lipoprotein(a), Lp(a). b) the “good cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances away from the sites of tissue repair and transport it back to the liver where it is biologically “burnt” One of the most frequent causes why “bad cholesterol” particles are elevated in the blood stream is micronutrient deficiency. This can be easily explained: A deficiency of vitamins causes structural damage to the artery walls and other organs and the body (liver) reacts with an increased production of “repair factors” like LDL and Lp(a). Because the elevation of these risk factors in the blood is already a reaction damage of our body tissue caused by vitamin deficiency, they are considered “secondary” risk factors.
Jacques PF, Hartz SC, McGandy RB, Jacob RA, Russell RM. Ascorbic acid, HDL, and total plasma cholesterol in the elderly. J Am Coll Nutr. 1987 Apr;6(2):169-74.