Serum antioxidant status and high blood pressure.





Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Vitamin C Vitamin E Hypertension
Professional Data: Vitamin C Vitamin E Hypertension


Blood pressure tends to be lower in women than men, and higher in blacks than whites. It rises with age. Blood pressure generally stays within a fairly narrow range. But it does not stay the same at all times. Blood pressure fluctuates, rising during physical and emotional stress and falling when we are relaxed or asleep. Just because your blood pressure goes up temporarily when you are stressed, this does not mean you have hypertension.

Hypertension has many possible causes. Hypertension that results from another disease is called "secondary hypertension." Fewer than 5 percent of people who suffer from hypertension have secondary hypertension, and in the majority of those, kidney disease in the cause. Other disorders known elevate blood pressure include thyroid disorders and Cushing's disease, which is a disorder of the adrenal glands. Certain medications— nervous system stimulants, synthetic estrogen, and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), to name a few— sometimes contribute to hypertension.

Although vitamin C has been associated with lower blood pressure, in various studies, little is know about the effects of other antioxidants. This study investigated the serum levels of vitamins A, C, and E, and alpha and beta-carotene in 15,317 men and women. Blood pressure measurements were calculated by the average of 6 blood pressure readings over 2 days. The results showed that vitamins A and E were positively associated with a lower risk of hypertension in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Alpha- and beta-carotene were inversely linked to systolic blood pressure and vitamin C was correlated to diastolic blood pressure. The authors of this study concluded that, “these findings indicate that antioxidant vitamins may be important in the underlying cause and prevention of hypertension. Further studies in this important area are warranted.”1


1. Chen J, et al. Serum antioxidant vitamins and blood pressure in the United States population. Hypertension. Dec 2002; 40(6):810-6.