(NaturalHealth365) Overweight and obese adults are advised to exercise on a daily basis for improved health. However, about one-third of the population are not physically active – and that figure may be grossly underestimated.
Poor dietary habits and a lack of exercise greatly increase the risk of blood vessel constriction – which is often increased in overweight and obese adults – and leads to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. So, as most health-conscious people know, exercise is a wise choice.
However, new research is showing that there may be a way to reduce cardiovascular health problems – other than exercise. In fact, evidence is proving that vitamin C supplements may be the answer and just as beneficial as walking.
Vitamin C reduces blood vessel constriction in obese people
According to Caitlin Down, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Colorado in Boulder, led a recent study that determined vitamin C supplements do lessen blood vessel constriction in obese people.
The study was completed after three months of either supplementation or aerobic exercise training. Subjects taking vitamin C did not show any weight loss. However, vascular health improved. Forearm blood flow, as well as responses to intra-arterial infusion of endothelin-1, was measured before and after each intervention.
Scientists determined that daily supplementation with 500 milligrams of a time released dose reduced endothelin-1-mediated vessel constriction as much as exercise did – particularly walking.
Morbidly obese people have vitamin C deficiency
While numerous studies show that morbidly obese people have low circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, very little data existed on other nutrient deficiencies. Studies were then completed on 168 morbidly obese patients at two public hospitals in southeast Norway according to The American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
The patients were divided into two groups which consisted of consecutive patients and healthy controls. They were also similar in age and ethnicity. The study concluded that vitamin C deficiency was prevalent in obese Norwegian patients.
Other vitamin C benefits for preventing or treating obesity
Not only do the morbidly obese prove to have deficiencies in vitamin C, but their excess body fat accumulation can lead to several other chronic illnesses. Obesity can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases.
However, a recent study published in Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (Tokyo) revealed antioxidant-based treatments to be counteractive to obesity fat accumulation. Observations showed several beneficial effects of Vitamin C on obesity-related mechanisms:
- Modulate adipocyte lipolysis
- Regulate the glucocorticoid release from adrenal glands
- Inhibit glucose metabolism and leptin secretion on isolated adipocytes
- Lead to an improvement in hyperglycemia and decrease glycosylation in those who have diabetes
- Reduce inflammatory response
So which is better? Vitamin C or exercise …
While vitamin C isn’t a magical replacement for exercise, its many health benefits should be placed on anyone’s fitness plan for regular daily use – especially those who are overweight and obese. Choosing a quality vitamin C supplement is important because most vitamin C brands are created from genetically modified corn. Look for non-GMO brands.
Keep in mind, everyone tends to have a very different health status and ability to absorb nutrition. Generally speaking, the sicker you are – the more you need vitamin C.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.
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