Dr. Richard Jensen, a holistic nutritionist, has conducted extensive research on vitamin C and concluded that controlling high levels of cholesterol is among its many positive effects on the body.
Most people know that vitamin C is very important to one’s health. It helps build bones, teeth and tendons. It is a powerful antioxidant that may help slow the aging process. It also may reduce the length of colds and flu. Research performed by Dr. Jensen concludes that vitamin C also plays an important role in the regulation of the body’s cholesterol levels. In an article recently published on his health tips web site, Dr. Jensen points out that most cholesterol is actually made by the body; only about 15-20% of the cholesterol in the blood is from our diets. When someone has a diet that is high in cholesterol, the body slows cholesterol production and vice-versa. Unfortunately, for many different reasons some people cannot slow down their own cholesterol production as much as they should. Their blood cholesterol tests high and their doctor usually recommends that they go on a cholesterol-lowering drug, often the statins. However, vitamin C itself can lower cholesterol levels in the same way that statins do, without side effects.
The cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, like Lipotor, work by inhibiting (blocking) a key enzyme that helps make cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol levels in the bloodstream then lower. But this is not the end of the story. There can be serious side effects from taking the statin drugs, including muscle deterioration, kidney failure and liver problems. Other potential side effects are memory or cognitive problems from the cholesterol level in the brain actually becoming too low. Cholesterol is absolutely essential for making hormones and also forms an important part of the outside of cells (known as the cell’s membrane). Sometimes taking cholesterol-lowering drugs will end up lowering it too much, causing the additional side effects mentioned above.
How can people use vitamin C to cope with high cholesterol? Not only does vitamin C inhibit the same enzyme that the statins do, without any of their side effects, the amount of the enzyme inhibition depends on the amount of vitamin C someone takes. So, if their cholesterol levels are too high, they can take several grams of vitamin C daily. There is no evidence that vitamin C will lower cholesterol levels too much, so it’s a win-win situation. Vitamin C also regulates cholesterol in a different way. It converts it into a substance called a bile acid, which is then broken down by the liver. Vitamin C deficiency slows the above conversion, which can then make excess cholesterol accumulate in the arteries and also cause gallstones. There is much evidence now that vitamin C deficiency also raises cholesterol levels above normal.
Vitamin C performs another bit of “magic” as well; it raises the “good” cholesterol called
Last but not least, vitamin C helps prevent oxidation damage of the
Readers can learn more about the benefits of vitamin C on regulating high cholesterol levels at Dr. Jensen’s heath tips web site at http://www.individualizednutrition.com/
About Richard Jensen, PhD
Richard Jensen received a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology from
Dr. Jensen may be contacted at 1-800-390-5365