Balz Frei, PhD, director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, believes the new meta-analysis linking vitamin C with lower blood pressure is more than enough evidence to recommend C supplements for preventing or treating hypertension.
“It is a very solid analysis using the gold standard of what the medical community considers necessary to demonstrate safety and efficacy–and it worked,” he says. “If this was a study of a pharmaceutical drug, and it showed this effect, every medical doctor in the United States would start to prescribe it for hypertension, but there is often a bias against natural compounds.”
Frei says he does not recommend C supplementation in place of medication or as a stand-alone measure to prevent it. However, for those who have concerns about developing high blood pressure or those already taking medication for it, he suggests 500 mg daily, in addition to maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy.
“Five-hundred milligrams of vitamin C is absolutely benign and has great potential for benefit, so why not take it?” he says.