Vitamin C could rival statins in its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, a new US study has found.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that patients taking supplements of the vitamin experienced lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).
Higher levels of CRP can be a sign of inflammation and have been linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and diabetes, the scientists stated.
Lead study author Gladys Block stressed the benefit was seen only in patients who started out with higher CRP levels and not those who had normal levels to begin with.
Ms Block said the results were "important" because they had been derived from a properly conducted trial which had shown that "for people with moderately elevated levels of inflammation, vitamin C may be able to reduce CRP as much as statins have done in other studies".
Vitamin C is not the only nutrient which has recently been in the news for its purported health benefits.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has suggested that high doses of vitamin B3 were found to prevent memory loss in mice that had an Alzheimer's disease-type condition.
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