Vitamin C & Heart Disease
Some studies have shown that those who take Vitamin C supplements tend to have a lower risk of heart disease. However, clinical trials have so far been inconsistent in their results. Some of the best studies have shown negative results.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Points

Vitamin C & Heart Disease
1. Correlation with Heart Disease
Some studies have shown that those who take Vitamin C supplements tend to have a lower risk of heart disease.
2. trials have been inconsistent
However, clinical trials have so far been inconsistent in their results. Some of the best studies have shown negative results.
3. Keep eating fruits and veggies
While the jury is still out on Vitamin C and heart disease, it's never a bad idea to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of benefits from these healthy foods.

Background

Vitamin C
Key Facts
Key Functions
Vitamin C
Key Facts
Key Facts
  • Type
    Essential, Water soluble
  • Other Names
    ascorbic acid
  • Daily Allowance
    Women: 75mg, Men:90mg
Appearance
Key Sources

Fruits

Vegetables

Peas

Vitamin C
Key Functions
Collagen

Your body needs Vitamin C to create collagen, a critical component of joints and connective tissue.

Wound Healing

Vitamin C helps your body heal wounds

Immunity

Vitamin C helps your body fight off infection

Study 1

Vitamin C & Heart Disease Risk
A prospective cohort study found that women who take Vitamin C have a lower risk of heart disease.
Vitamin C & Heart Disease for Women

A study looking at 85,118 female nurses found that those who took Vitamin C supplements had a significantly lower risk of heart disease after adjusting for adjusting for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors.

Data Source

"In conclusion, our findings suggest that vitamin C supplement users may be at lower risk of CHD. We found no evidence for a gradient in risk across the relatively narrow range of intakes of vitamin C from diet in our study population. "

Source: Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women

Study 2

Clinical Trial on Vitamin C & Heart Disease
However, a clinical trial showed that Vitamin C may not be as beneficial as we had hoped. Women who were given vitamin C did not have a lower risk of heart disease.
Antioxidants & Heart Disease Trial

A clinical trial looking at antioxidants and heart disease found that antioxidant vitamin supplements did not reduce the risk of heart disease over 9.4 years. For vitamin C, the relative risk was 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92-1.13. For vitamin E, the relative risk was 0.94; 95% CI, 0.85-1.04. For beta-carotene, the relative risk was 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92-1.13.

Data Source

"There were no overall effects of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, or beta carotene on cardiovascular events among women at high risk for CVD."

Source: A randomized factorial trial of vitamins C and E and beta carotene in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in women: results from the Women's Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study

Study 3

Fruits & Veggies vs Heart Disease
Consumption of fruits and vegetables, in general, does reduce your risk of heart disease.
Fruits & Vegetables vs. Heart Disease

A meta-analysis of 95 studies showed that generally, high fruit and vegetable consumption is correlated with a lower risk of heart disease 0.84 (95% CI: 0.76–0.92) and a lower risk of stroke: 0.92 (95% CI: 0.90–0.95)

Data Source

"Fruit and vegetable intakes were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality. These results support public health recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable intake for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature mortality."

Source: Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality—a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies
Key takeaways
As shown by the studies above, there still has not been convincing evidence showing that Vitamin C supplements can prevent heart disease. But, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is likely going to be pretty good for you.

More Info

What should I eat to prevent heart disease?

"Eat a variety of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars. Replace high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables. "

How Common is Heart Disease?

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States."

Can antioxidants help with heart disease?

"Clinical use of antioxidant vitamin supplementation may help to prevent coronary heart disease (CHD). Epidemiologic studies find lower CHD morbidity and mortality in persons who consume larger quantities of antioxidants in foods or supplements. "