Vitamin C has been and always will be one of the most essential vitamins and antioxidants for good health, and for many good reasons. Vitamin C covers just about every spectrum when you think of wellness:
Benefits of Vitamin C:
• Helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels (5)
• Helps promote blood vessel and arterial health
• Works as a natural antihistamine that may help reduce the allergy load on allergic individuals
• Increases immune system function
• Promotes collagen production, thereby improve skin health
• Supports the adrenal glands, thereby reducing chronic stress and adrenal fatigue
• Enhances the body’s natural detoxification processes
Vitamin C has also long been known for its help in fighting off colds and the flu, but did you know that it also plays a crucial role in protecting your heart? Today we’re going to share with you the fundamental connection between heart disease and a vitamin C deficiency.
Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, but People Do!
Did you know that humans and guinea pigs are the only mammals that don’t make their own vitamin C? In Dr. Matthias Rath’s book Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks…but People Do!, he explains why animals (with the exception of guinea pigs) don’t get heart attacks. It’s because they produce vitamin C in their body. Why is this important? Because vitamin C stabilizes the arteries so that animals rarely develop atherosclerosis, a condition when plaque builds up inside your arteries and causes the artery wall to thicken.
How Does Vitamin C Prevent Atherosclerosis?
Cardiovascular disease is a degenerative disease caused by a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency leads to the deposition of lipoprotein(a) and fibrin in the blood vessel walls. (1) Vitamin C deficiency has a profound effect on the development of vascular diseases and causes aortic wall damage. (2) Research shows that a poor plasma status of vitamin C is a risk factor of ischemic heart disease. (3)
The main cause of heart attack, as well as strokes (4), is a scurvy-like condition of the artery wall. You may be aware that a vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, which is the breakdown of the body’s connective tissues, including blood vessel walls. You could think of atherosclerosis as an early form of scurvy.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce cell wall damage caused by free radicals. The most important function of vitamin C in preventing heart attacks and strokes is its ability to increase the production of collagen, elastin and other reinforcement molecules in the body. This improves stability of our arteries.
Today, the average person’s diet contains enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy, but not to guarantee healthy artery walls. As a result, millions of tiny cracks and lesions develop along the artery walls. When not enough vitamin C is available, then cholesterol, lipoproteins and other blood risk factors enter the damaged artery walls in order to repair these lesions. With low vitamin C intake, this repair process can continue for years and years and deposits develop in the arteries. Deposits in the arteries of the heart eventually lead to heart attack and deposits in the arteries of the brain lead to stroke.
Click here to listen to Dr. Hotze’s radio interview with Dr. Matthias Rath on vitamin C and heart disease.
Vitamin C Deficiency is Prevalent Today
Humans cannot produce vitamin C. We also don’t get as much vitamin C in our diet today because of poor nutritional habits, processed foods and the overcooking of foods which destroys most vitamins. Since we don’t make our own vitamin C, we have to get it through our food and vitamin supplements.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Here is a list of some common foods you can add to your daily diet that contain vitamin C:
Dark leafy greens
Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin, meaning that it cannot be stored by the body (except in small amounts) and must be replenished daily. Vitamin C comes in several forms so you can choose the best option for you: capsules, tablets, chewable and powder.
Dr. Hotze discusses vitamin C for prevention of coronary artery disease:
How do you know if you have plaque build-up?
A heart scan is the only non-invasive way to determine whether you have coronary artery disease. If you are over 40 years old, then you should have a heart scan performed. At Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we offer heart scans with an EBCT scanner. EBCT is non-invasive, open, and safe, and emits the lowest radiation in the CT industry. Have peace of mind knowing that heart disease can be detected, safely and comfortably, in its earliest stages. Contact us today to schedule your heart scan at 281-579-3600.
Dr. Matthias Rath – Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, but People Do!
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1. Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease: Its Primary Cause Is Ascorbate Deficiency, Leading to the Deposition of Lipoprotein(a) and Fibrinogen/Fibrin in the Vascular Wall
2. Aortic Wall Damage in Mice Unable to Synthesize Ascorbic Acid
3. Relationship of Plasma Level of Vitamin C to Mortality From Ischemic Heart Disease
4. Plasma Vitamin C Modifies the Association Between Hypertension and Risk of Stroke
5. Marginal Vitamin C Deficiency, Lipid Metabolism, and Atherogenesis