The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that nearly 6 million people suffer from heart failure in the US alone, and roughly 300,000 die from it each year. For those unfamiliar, hear failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood through the body. Symptoms that arise include kidney failure, fatigue, and can also lead to shortness of breath due to fluid buildup around the heart which caused excess pressure on the lungs. There is currently no cure for this condition, though changes in lifestyle and a few medications can help somewhat. New research that has just been announced at the 2011 American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions currently being held in Orlando, FL says that there is still hope and its not in the form of a prescription drug with other side effects or invasive surgery.
The lead study author, Eun Kyeung Song, Ph. D, R.N., said that adequate intake of vitamin C was associated with longer survival in patients with heart failure. Thats right, not some new super drug that big pharma can try to shove down our throats, but good old vitamin C. Vitamin deficiency has come closer to the forefront of current medicine recently as more and more stories about dangers associated with prescription drugs rise to the front page. More research continues to be done into additional benefits of vitamins and minerals as they are more likely to provide better results with fewer chemical reactions in the body.
Not only can vitamin C supplementation help lower risk of death from heart failure, but deficiency in the vital nutrient is actually linked a higher rate of death. This is a bit of a two way street though, as heart failure patients are frequently prescribed diuretics that flush their bodies of fluids and also remove needed minerals. This was mentioned in the press statement by Terry Lennie, Ph. D., R.N., from the University of Kentucky. It seems that since inflammation is a major issue with heart failure, vitamin C helps by reducing that inflammation - but only in proper dosages.
American Journal of Public Health