Vitamin C deficiency linked to higher risk of stroke

A preliminary study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April-May 2014 suggests that being deficient in Vitamin C raises your risk for a stroke. The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Stéphane Vannier, M.D., of Pontchaillou University Hospital in France, said that the research pointed to Vitamin C deficiency as a risk factor for the often deadly hemorrhagic type of stroke, just like high blood pressure or being overweight. He also called for further research to identify exactly how Vitamin C levels affect stroke risk (for instance, as an influence on blood pressure).

This study finds still another negative consequence of Vitamin C deficiency, since low Vitamin C levels have also been linked to anemia, a lower capacity to fight infection, lower wound healing capacity, gingivitis, and joint pain. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges and peppers, and can also be obtained through supplementation.

NYBC stocks several different forms of Vitamin C, including Buffered Vitamin C (Jarrow), which is easier on the stomach than other forms; a Vitamin C with Olea Extract (Jarrow); and C Esterol (Allergy Research), which combines Vitamin C with other plant extracts rutin, quercetin, and grape seed proanthocyanidins.

News of this preliminary study was widely reported, but we accessed some information at

Vitamin D may lower blood pressure in African-Americans

A trial published in the journal Hypertension (Feb 3, 2013) found that Vitamin D supplementation can lower blood pressure in African-Americans, who are at greater risk for high blood pressure than the general population.

In the research study, participants received a placebo, or 1000, or 2000, or 4000 IUs of Vitamin D3 a day for three months. There was no significant change for those taking the placebo. Those who took the highest amount of Vitamin D daily showed the greatest reduction in blood pressure. “This degree of blood pressure reduction, if confirmed in future studies, would be considered clinically significant,” said the lead author, Dr. John P. Forman. (Quoted in NYT online, where we first read of this story.)

NYBC stocks Vitamin D in several different strengths:

Vitamin D is a low-cost supplement, and is reported to have no adverse effects in daily doses as high as 4000IU. Search under Vitamin D for previous posts on this blog about the vitamin’s potential for cardiovascular health benefits, especially for African-Americans and other groups at elevated risk.

Vitamin D and racial disparity in blood pressure

An article published in 2011 suggested that low Vitamin D levels may contribute to higher rates of hypertension (high blood pressure) among African Americans. Higher rates of hypertension in turn produce higher rates of cardiovascular disease and its related mortality. The article examined existing data on blood pressure and detected a significant link between lower levels of Vitamin D and higher risk of hypertension in African Americans. The authors note that Vitamin D level did not emerge as the sole factor explaining racial disparity in blood pressure (other factors include lack of access to healthcare, diet, and stress). They also call for trials to determine if supplementation can impact high blood pressure risk.

Read the article: Racial disparity in blood pressure: is vitamin D a factor?

See further information about Vitamin D and cardiovascular health on this Blog, or in the NYBC entries under Vitamin D3 at

GABA Hey! Blood Pressure and Sleep

NYBC carries Pressure Optimizer and GABA Soothe to help manage a range of issues. Among them, the data below suggest a benefit for managing borderline hypertension (high blood pressure). A related item in the NYBC catalog, Theanine Serene, also has a fair amount of GABA along with green tea-extract theanine; this combination was designed especially as an anti-anxiety or anti-stress formula.

The second study below looked at a combo of GABA and 5-HTP and found some benefits for helping to get a restful sleep.

Shimada M, Hasegawa T, Nishimura C, Kan H, Kanno T, Nakamura T, Matsubayashi T. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-354.

The anti-hypertensive effect of GABA-rich Chlorella was studied after oral administration for 12 weeks in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in the placebo-controlled, double-blind manner in order to investigate if GABA-rich Chlorella, a dietary supplement, is useful in control of blood pressure. Eighty subjects with Systolic blood pressure (SBP) 130-159 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 85-99 mmHg (40 subjects/group) took the blinded substance of GABA-rich Chlorella (20 mg as gamma-aminobutyric acid) or placebo twice daily for 12 weeks, and had follow-up observation for an additional 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure in the subjects given GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased compared with placebo (p < 0.01). Diastolic blood pressure had the tendency to decrease after intake of GABA-rich Chlorella. Neither adverse events nor abnormal laboratory findings were reported throughout the study period. Reduction of SBP in the subjects with borderline hypertension was higher than those in the subjects with high-normal blood pressure. These results suggest that GABA-rich Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension.

PMID: 19811362 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Shell W, Bullias D, Charuvastra E, May LA, Silver DS. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep. Am J Ther. 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):133-139.

This study was an outpatient, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a combination amino acid formula (Gabadone) in patients with sleep disorders. Eighteen patients with sleep disorders were randomized to either placebo or active treatment group. Sleep latency and duration of sleep were measured by daily questionnaires. Sleep quality was measured using a visual analog scale. Autonomic nervous system function was measured by heart rate variability analysis using 24-hour electrocardiographic recordings. In the active group, the baseline time to fall asleep was 32.3 minutes, which was reduced to 19.1 after Gabadone administration (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline latency time was 34.8 minutes compared with 33.1 minutes after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference was statistically significant (P = 0.02). In the active group, the baseline duration of sleep was 5.0 hours (mean), whereas after Gabadone, the duration of sleep increased to 6.83 (P = 0.01, n = 9). In the placebo group, the baseline sleep duration was 7.17 +/- 7.6 compared with 7.11 +/- 3.67 after placebo (P = nonsignificant, n = 9). The difference between the active and placebo groups was significant (P = 0.01). Ease of falling asleep, awakenings, and am grogginess improved. Objective measurement of parasympathetic function as measured by 24-hour heart rate variability improved in the active group compared with placebo. An amino acid preparation containing both GABA and 5-hydroxytryptophan reduced time to fall asleep, decreased sleep latency, increased the duration of sleep, and improved quality of sleep.

PMID: 19417589 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Nutrition important…

…for so many things, of course. Lately, the news is that sugary drinks can be bad for you (obesity being not the least of the concerns!) But they also can raise blood pressure. All those crap sodas from companies that have a let them eat crap philosophy: ditch ’em!

Researcher finds surprising link between sugar in drinks and blood pressure

Add to that, more recent data on cholesterol and the link with inflammation…
Cholesterol crystals incite inflammation in coronary arteries

Contact: Jason Cody, University Relations, Office: (517) 432-0924, Cell: (734) 755-0210,; George Abela, Department of Medicine, Office: (517) 353-4830,

Published: May 18, 2010

Millions of American Children Have Low Vitamin D Levels, Putting Them at Risk for Bone Problems, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and other Ailments

This is the lead in a Washington Post story published Aug. 3, 2009, which summarizes findings from two new studies that provide the first national snapshot of a nutrient whose importance to health has been emphasized by a raft of recent investigations. (Check the entry “Vitamin D” in this blog for some of these other research findings.)

The new studies on Vitamin D come as the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine is reviewing official guidelines for daily intake of Vitamin D. Many researchers in recent years have suggested that the recommended daily intake should be increased, particularly to counteract deficiencies detected in certain groups with chronic conditions.

The national studies, which showed millions of American children deficient in Vitamin D, also highlighted worrisome associations between low Vitamin D levels and high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and “metabolic syndrome,” a condition that increases risk of heart disease and diabetes.

One source of Vitamin D is sunlight–the body manufactures the vitamin in response to exposure to the sun. And the recent research suggests that American children, prone to watch TV and play videogames, may not be getting enough outdoor time and sunlight, leading to the Vitamin D deficiency. Others point out that too much exposure to the sun may lead to higher rates of skin cancer, already the leading type of cancer in the US. Of course–we note–supplementing with Vitamin D could address the deficiency, while also avoiding the increased skin cancer risk that comes with exposure to sun.

See the following product entries on the NYBC website for further information on Vitamin D:

D3-1000 (Jarrow)

D3-400 (Jarrow)

Bone-Up (Jarrow) – includes D3 plus other nutrients important for bone health

Bone-Up – Ultra (Jarrow) – additional nutrients compared to the regular “Bone-Up”, plus a larger quantity

Pressure Optimizer from Jarrow Products

NYBC is now carrying the Jarrow Formulas Pressure Optimizer, which is designed to support healthy blood pressure levels for those already within normal range.

The active components of this formula are: AmealPeptide™ a patented extract of hydrolyzed casein containing two tripeptides clinically studied for their effect on blood pressure; Co Q-10, which supports heart function and acts as an antioxidant to protect cholesterol from oxidation (= forming plaques); L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that is known to promote a state of alert relaxation; and Magnesium to help relax blood vessels.