Lack of long-term effect of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure.


Kim MK, et al.






In a double-blinded randomized controlled trial, we investigated the long-term effect of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure. A total of 439 Japanese subjects with atrophic gastritis initially participated in the trial using vitamin C and beta-carotene to prevent gastric cancer. Before and on early termination of beta-carotene supplementation, 134 subjects dropped out of this trial, whereas 120 and 124 subjects took the vitamin C supplement daily at either 50 mg or 500 mg, respectively, for 5 years. Before supplementation, neither systolic nor diastolic blood pressure was significantly related with the serum vitamin C concentration. This relationship was unchanged after adjustment for age, body mass index, and alcohol intake or after stratification by gender. After 5 years, systolic blood pressure significantly increased in groups, regardless of vitamin C dose, compared with baseline. Systolic blood pressure in the high-dose group (500 mg daily) increased from 125.4 to 131.7 mm Hg (5.88 mm Hg increase; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.11 to 8.65). This value was similar with that of the low-dose group (5.73 mm Hg increase; 95% CI, 2.62 to 8.83) and of the dropout group (4.52 mm Hg increase; 95% CI, 1.26 to 7.77). There was no difference in change of diastolic blood pressure among the 3 groups. In conclusion, we observed no reduction in blood pressure with long-term moderate doses (500 mg/day) of vitamin C supplementation in a high-risk population for stomach cancer and stroke.