Background: It has been suggested that a high dietary intake and high circulating concentrations of vitamin C may protect against ischemic heart disease.

Objectives: The objective was to examine the associations between dietary and plasma vitamin C concentrations, fruit and vegetable intakes, and markers of inflammation and hemostasis associated with cardiovascular disease in older men free of cardiovascular disease.

Design: This cross-sectional study examined 3258 men aged 60-79 y with no physician diagnosis of myocardial infarction, stroke, or diabetes and who were drawn from general practices in 24 British towns. Fruit and vegetable intakes and dietary vitamin C were assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire.

Results: Plasma vitamin C, fruit intake, and dietary vitamin C intake were significantly and inversely associated with mean concentrations of C-reactive protein, an acute phase reactant, and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, a marker of endothelial dysfunction, even after adjustment for confounders. Vegetable intake was correlated significantly (inversely) only with t-PA. For plasma vitamin C (highest versus lowest quartile), the adjusted odds of elevated C-reactive protein and t-PA (highest tertile versus lowest tertile) were 0.56 (95% CI: 0.44, 0.71) and 0.79 (0.62, 1.00); for fruit intake, the corresponding odds ratios were 0.76 (0.60, 0.95) and 0.76 (0.61, 0.95). Plasma (but not dietary) vitamin C also showed inverse associations with both fibrinogen concentrations and blood viscosity. No associations were seen with von Willebrand factor or factor VIII.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that vitamin C has antiinflammatory effects and is associated with lower endothelial dysfunction in men with no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.


Wannamethee SG, Lowe GD, Rumley A, Bruckdorfer KR, Whincup PH. Associations of vitamin C status, fruit and vegetable intakes, and markers of inflammation and hemostasis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;83(3):567-74; quiz 726-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn.83.3.567. PMID: 16522902.