In the past, I've written quite a bit about the importance of your endothelial cells. These cells form the lining of your blood vessels, and it's important to keep them healthy, intact, and flexible. If they become hardened or inflamed, you're well on your way to cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, a new study has suggested that there may be a way to protect your endothelial cells if they do become inflamed.
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The researchers found that when endothelial cells become inflamed, they become more permeable, and it compromises their integrity. That's the bad news. The good news is that vitamin C seems to help the cells "tighten up" and remain intact.
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For the study, the researchers took endothelial cells from harvested human umbilical cords. Then they used thrombin to cause permeability in the cells, which stimulated inflammation. Vitamin C helped keep the endothelial lining stable in the presence of the inflammatory substance. The researchers aren't entirely sure why vitamin C works, but they know it does help the cells maintain levels of the signaling molecule cAMP. This molecule helps block the formation of stress fibers that can damage the endothelial lining.
The researchers believe that if you have an inflammatory disease, increasing your dietary intake of vitamin C may help protect your blood vessels. You probably know you can get a good bit of vitamin C from citrus fruits. But you also can get it from foods such as broccoli, red cabbage, and bell peppers. I would suggest taking a good multivitamin, such as Super Immune QuickStart to boost your vitamin C intake.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD