Low Vitamin C Levels Related to Vascular Disease

BEVERLY HILLS – In the most recent issue of Circulation, investigators have reported that low blood levels of vitamin C were found in patients with particularly severe cases of peripheral vascular disease.

Peripheral vascular disease is a form of atherosclerosis associated most commonly with blockages in the arteries supplying the legs.  These patients have, among other symptoms, pain and cramping in their leg muscles with exertion.  In this study, researchers compared vitamin C levels in patients with peripheral vascular disease to levels in patients without this condition.  They found that those who had vascular disease had vitamin C levels that were only half as high as patients without disease.

While investigators postulate that the antioxidant effects of vitamin C may help prevent peripheral vascular disease, their study only demonstrates an association, and not a cause-and-effect relationship between low vitamin C levels and vascular disease.