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High doses of vitamin C led to improved ventricular function and reduced duration of ICU stay among patients who had just undergone coronary artery bypass surgery, adding more support for vitamin C's heart-protective potential
Researchers from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran evaluated the impact of high-dose vitamin C on markers of myocardial injury in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
This surgery improves blood flow to the heart and is performed on people suffering from severe coronary heart disease, where plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.[i] Myocardial injury is considered the leading cause of death in patients with cardiovascular disease.[ii]
Vitamin C Supports Heart Function After Surgery
In their double-blind randomized trial, the group recruited 50 patients ages 50 to 80 years old who had CABG surgery.[iii] The intervention group received 5 grams (g) of intravenous vitamin C before anesthesia and 5 g of vitamin C in a solution. The control group received the same amount of placebo.
They then took arterial blood samples to determine the participants' levels of creatine kinase-muscle/brain (CK-MB), troponin I and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzymes. They also recorded measures of ventricular function, such as the subjects' left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Writing in the Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, the researchers found that high doses of vitamin C translated to improved ventricular function 72 hours after surgery as well as a reduced length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). The vitamin C group's cardiac enzyme level was also lower than in the control group.
The difference in the length of ICU stay in the two groups was deemed significant and consistent with the results of a previous study, where patients in the vitamin C group had shorter ICU and overall hospital stays than the control group.[iv]
However, the focus study found no significant changes in cardiac biomarkers such as CKMB, troponin I and LDH in each group over time.[v] For future studies, the group recommended longer intervals -- namely 48 and 72 hours after surgery -- as well as larger sample sizes.
"The combination of vitamin C with other antioxidants or their comparison can more accurately reveal its influence on prevention of coronary heart disease and reduction of cardiac biomarkers," the authors wrote.[vi]
Universal Remedy to Modern Ills
Vitamin C, the common name for ascorbic acid, is mostly hailed as a universal remedy. It works on the molecular level, and vitamin C protocols have conquered everything from depression to gingivitis to cancers.[vii]
Vitamin C suppresses free radicals and acids constantly being produced through metabolic oxidation, exposure to toxins and radiation, stress and inflammation. Besides being anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and anti-metastatic, to name a few beneficial actions, it resupplies fat and membrane-protective vitamin E with electrons and reduces iron.
This way they can both more efficiently deliver oxygen, according to Capt. Randall, the author of "Forbidden Healing" and an independent health researcher. Further, vitamin C was found to significantly slash levels of  anxiety among Type 2 diabetes patients in another study.[viii]
Heart disease is a leading area of interest for nutritional interventions, as it remains the top cause of mortality in the developed world. The GreenMedInfo.com database offers a whole arsenal of studies on cardiovascular disease prevention that involve nutritional therapies such as vitamin C.
It's important to remember that while vitamin C alone can give you a significant health boost, it can perform best in rebuilding and regenerating tissues when used as part of a comprehensively healthy lifestyle. Part of this involves proper nutrition, including consuming fresh organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meats and fermented foods, to name a few.
[ii] Z Xia et al "Myocardial ischaemia reperfusion injury: the challenge of translating ischaemic and anaesthetic protection from animal models to humans" Br J Anaesth. 2016;117(2):44-62.
[iii] Emadi N et al "The Effect of High-Dose Vitamin C on Biochemical Markers of Myocardial Injury in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery" Braz J Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Dec 1;34(5):517-524.
[iv] Dingchao H et al "The protective effects of high-dose ascorbic acid on myocardium against reperfusion injury during and after cardiopulmonary bypass" Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1994;42(5):276-8.
[v] Emadi N et al "The Effect of High-Dose Vitamin C on Biochemical Markers of Myocardial Injury in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery" Braz J Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Dec 1;34(5):517-524.
[vi] Emadi N et al "The Effect of High-Dose Vitamin C on Biochemical Markers of Myocardial Injury in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery" Braz J Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Dec 1;34(5):517-524.
[viii] Mazloom Zet al "Efficacy of supplementary vitamins C and E on anxiety, depression and stress in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial" Pak J Biol Sci. 2013 Nov 15;16(22):1597-600.