How vitamin C might prevent blood vessel calcification
A diet high in vitamin C may protect against the calcification of blood vessels. These expectations are expressed by American researchers, who conducted in vitro experiments with the cells of blood vessels, in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease.
The researchers exposed human aortic smooth muscle cells to vitamin C in test tubes. These types of cells form the outside of the blood vessels.
The research was carried out by the American Rath Research Institute. [drrathresearch.org] The Rath Research Institute was founded by Matthias Rath, an advocate for the use of supplements with rabid opponents as well as admirers.
Rath co-authored the study this post is about.
As the concentration of vitamin C increased, the researchers found less calcium [Ca ++] and less active enzyme alkaline phosphatase [ALP] in their cells after the exposure. Alkaline phosphatase becomes more active in cells the more calcium they store.
The x-axis in the figure above shows the concentration of vitamin C in micromoles. The concentration of vitamin C in the blood of average people varies roughly between 40 and 140. The concentrations of vitamin C studied are therefore biologically relevant.
The researchers also looked at the effect of vitamin C [AsA] on proteins involved in calcification in the vessel wall cells. Vitamin C lowered the concentration of those proteins. You can see this above.
"Our data suggests that ascorbate is a key regulator in vascular cells and plays a decisive role in preventing the formation of calcium deposits by smooth muscle cells, the most abundant cell type in larger, muscular arteries", summarize the researchers.
"Thus, ascorbate supplementation should be part of any effective approach to cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment."
Am J Cardiovasc Dis 2020;10(2):108-16.
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