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Sugar-Sweetened Drinks May Pose Heart Risks to Women, Study Suggests
Date:11/14/2011

mes more likely to have higher blood levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a marker of inflammation that has been linked to heart disease risk. And those people with low vitamin C and high hsCRP levels were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized or die from heart failure when compared to counterparts who had higher levels of vitamin C and lower levels of hsCRP.

The study included 212 people with heart failure who were 61 years old, on average. They were asked to keep a food diary for four days, and their diary entries were verified by a nutritionist. Researchers analyzed vitamin C intake using a computer program. The study participants were also asked to take a blood test to measure their hsCRP levels. An hsCRP level greater than 3 milligrams per liter of blood was considered elevated, the researchers said.

Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, may help cool inflammation in the body, while a lack of the nutrient may allow inflammation levels to go unchecked, study author Grace Song, an assistant professor in the department of nursing at the University of Ulsan in Korea, told reporters at the meeting.

Vitamin C is plentiful in many healthful fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lemon juice, oranges, papaya, and strawberries. Studies have shown that adding supplements of vitamin C or other antioxidants does not improve outcomes in people being treated for heart failure, said American Heart Association President Dr. Gordon F. Tomaselli.

But people who eat diets rich in vitamin C foods may be healthier than those who don't, said Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Vitamin C in the diet may be a marker of a healthy lifestyle," he said.

Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, urged caution before jumping to any conclusions about vitamin C, however. "There is a benefit to a heart-healthy lifesty
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