Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population
This comprehensive epidemiological study examined the relationship between vitamin C intake and mortality (total, cancer and cardiovascular mortality). 11,348 US citizens aged 25 to 74 years were included. The participants were nutritionally examined over an initial period of 3 years. During a subsequent period of 10 years, the mortality was documented. The results of the study showed that with increasing vitamin C intake the mortality rate decreased in all groups (overall, cancer and cardiovascular mortality). This decrease was particularly evident in male participants: high dietary vitamin C intake was able to prevent almost every second heart attack in men. Further details can be found in the study.
The underlying disease process of coronary artery disease (CAD) is called arteriosclerosis. This process starts with a weakening of the blood vessel walls, most frequently caused by an insufficient dietary intake of vitamins and other micronutrients. This leads to an underproduction of collagen and other reinforcement molecules in the artery walls and to the initiation of a repair process to compensate for the growing instability of the wall. The arteriosclerotic plaques that – with time – narrow the blood flow in the coronary arteries is essentially an overshooting repair process for the vitamin-deficient coronary artery wall. A heart attack occurs when the already narrowed artery is clogged and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to billions of heart muscle cells is interrupted. Angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is the typical alarm signal for an increased risk of heart attack. Angina pectoris typically manifests as a sharp pain in the middle of the chest, which frequently radiates into the left arm, but can also manifest itself in other (untypical) symptoms.
Enstrom JE, Kanim LE, Klein MA. Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population. Epidemiology. 1992 May;3(3):194-202.