Vitamin C reduces the risk of heart attack in patients with elevated CRP.
Block G, Jensen CD, et al: Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive
protein. Free Radical Biol Med: 2009 Jan 1;46(1):70-7.
University of California, Berkeley, 94720, USA.
Abstract from the NIH:
Plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) is an inflammatory biomarker that predicts
cardiovascular disease. Lowering elevated CRP with statins has reduced the
incidence of cardiovascular disease.
We investigated whether vitamin C or E could reduce CRP. Healthy nonsmokers
(N=396) were randomized to three groups, 1000 mg/day vitamin C, 800 IU/day
vitamin E, or placebo, for 2 months. Median baseline CRP was low, 0.85 mg/L. No
treatment effect was seen when all participants were included. However, a
significant interaction was found, indicating that treatment effect depends on
baseline CRP concentration. Among participants with CRP indicative of elevated
cardiovascular risk (> or =1.0 mg/L), vitamin C reduced the median CRP by 25.3%
vs placebo (p=0.02) (median reduction in the vitamin C group, 0.25 mg/L, 16.7%).
These effects are similar to those of statins. The vitamin E effect was not
significant. In summary, treatment with vitamin C but not vitamin E
significantly reduced CRP among individuals with CRP > or =1.0 mg/L. Among the
obese, 75% had CRP > or =1.0 mg/L. Research is needed to determine whether
reducing this inflammatory biomarker with vitamin C could reduce diseases
associated with obesity. But research on clinical benefits of antioxidants
should limit participants to persons with elevations in the target biomarkers.