Vitamin C as effective as exercise for overweight adults?

Vitamin C

A recent study is highlighting more potential benefits of vitamin C. Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder say that daily vitamin C supplements may improve health in much the same way that regular exercise does.

“Vitamin C doesn’t benefit the heart, but rather vascular health,” says Caitlin Dow, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The details come back to a protein called endothelin-1, which causes constriction of the blood vessels. Researchers note that overweight and obese people demonstrate elevated activity of this protein.

“Our study indicates that vitamin C is as effective as exercise at reducing endothelin-1 system activity,” says Dow. “[O]veractivity of endothelin-1, which occurs in overweight and obese people, is linked to the development of cardiovascular disease.”

Does this mean that overweight folks should add vitamin C to their exercise regimen? Unfortunately, this study didn’t test these two factors in conjunction with one another. However, Dow does hypothesize that adding vitamin C to the exercise mix would not have any additive benefit.

“Both exercise and vitamin C reduced endothelin-1 activity to the levels that we have previously shown in normal-weight adults, so there isn’t much room for improvement beyond that,” Dow adds.

But if exercise isn’t an option because of an injury or other reason, Dow says that vitamin C could be a cost-effective lifestyle strategy.

“However, regular aerobic activity is still the gold standard for influencing cardiovascular risk, and that is what we continue to recommend for people who are able to exercise,” she says.

Vitamin C has long been associated with other positive health benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, it plays an important part in wound healing. One 2013 study even found vitamin C to kill off tuberculosis bacteria in a lab cultures. While many say it has immune-boosting power, Harvard Medical School reports that experts still lack solid evidence to support this idea.

Related Obesity News

October 6, 2015
Insomnia

Going to bed late may set stage for weight gain

October 6, 2015
September 30, 2015
Soda

Sugary drinks pose serious health risks

September 30, 2015
September 23, 2015

South and Midwest hit hardest by obesity

September 23, 2015
May 7, 2015
Walking

Walking for two minutes might improve mortality risk

May 7, 2015
April 20, 2015
Soda

Sugar-sweetened drinks curb stress, study finds

April 20, 2015
March 2, 2015
Stress test

Treadmill test predicts 10-year mortality risk

March 2, 2015
January 17, 2015
Obesity

FDA approves novel device for weight loss

January 17, 2015
December 16, 2014
Obesity

Obesity could reduce your life expectancy by up to eight years

December 16, 2014
November 20, 2014
Health benefits of coffee

Coffee might stave off diseases linked to obesity

November 20, 2014
October 22, 2014
Social media

Junk food brands use social media to market to kids, young adults

October 22, 2014
October 22, 2014
Sugary soda is linked to many health issues.

Sugary soda linked to accelerated cell aging

October 22, 2014
October 15, 2014
Cold weather on a winter day

Exposure to cold may aid in weight loss

October 15, 2014
July 3, 2014
Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and veggies don’t impact weight loss

July 3, 2014
June 13, 2014
Oatmeal has been shown to be more filling than cereal

Oatmeal for breakfast more filling than cereal

June 13, 2014
June 12, 2014
Fasting may improve immune system

Fasting may help repair damaged immune system

June 12, 2014
April 14, 2014
Fish oil supplements, which have lots of omega-3 fatty acids

Study shows not all fish oils created equal

April 14, 2014
April 11, 2014
Junk food can contribute to obesity and diabetes

Can junk food make you lazy?

April 11, 2014
April 4, 2014
Child in cereal aisle picking out a box of cereal

Characters on cereal boxes boost sales

April 4, 2014