Obese people know that they need to start doing exercise if they want to avoid having various health problems, such as heart disease or strokes. However, there might be a plan B as well, according to a new study.
A team of researchers from the University of Colorado, led by Caitlin Dow, PhD, proved that vitamin C has about the same effects as exercise on obese people’s heart health.
The experts engaged 35 adults in this study. Some of them had to exercise on a daily basis, while the others had to take vitamin C supplements (500 mg). Afterwards, they compared the effects of physical activity and vitamin C on endothelin-1, which is a protein that has a constricting effect on small blood vessels.
After assessing the results, the researchers came to the conclusion that vitamin C supplements taken daily reduced vessel constriction mediated by endothelin-1 at the same rate exercise did. Thus, it was concluded that Vitamin C has a very positive effect on preventing heart disease.
Whether the patient walked every day or did other types of moderate physical activity, or he or she took vitamin C, the entothelin-1 activity was lowered two times the initial amount.
The researchers measured the forearm blood flow and the responses to infusion of endothelin-1 both before and after either administering vitamin C supplementation or doing exercise.
This protein activity usually increases at night in overweight people, making vessels to constrict. When these vessels constrict too much, the blood flow is reduced, leading to a higher risk of suffering from a heart disease.
Physical activity can reduce these effects a lot, but it is a known fact that people who are overweight or obese do not find it easy, for various reasons, to do exercise.
Therefore, this study can prove to be extremely useful in the long run, even if it does not limit the importance of exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Vitamin C is already known to have a lot of positive effects, so eating food that contains loads of it shouldn’t do any harm.
The results of the study are to be presented at the American Physiological Society’s 14th International Conference on Endothelin, in Savannah, Georgia.
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