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Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Feb;218(1-2):97-103.

Dietary vitamin C supplementation lowers blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.


In spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) excess endogenous aldehydes bind sulfhydryl groups of membrane proteins, altering membrane Ca2+ channels and increasing cytosolic free calcium and blood pressure. The thiol compound, N-acetyl cysteine, normalizes elevated blood pressure in SHRs by binding excess endogenous aldehydes. Vitamin C can increase tissue cysteine and glutathione levels. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a dietary supplementation of vitamin C can lower tissue aldehydes and blood pressure and normalize associated biochemical and histopathological changes in SHRs. Starting at 12 weeks of age, animals were divided into 3 groups of 6 animals each. Animals in the WKY-control group and SHR-control group were given a normal diet and the SHR-vitamin C group a diet supplemented with vitamin C (1000 mg/kg feed) for the next 9 weeks. After nine weeks, systolic blood pressure, platelet [Ca2+]i, plasma insulin and liver, kidney and aortic aldehyde conjugates were significantly higher in SHR controls as compared to WKY controls and the SHR-vitamin C group. SHR-controls also showed smooth muscle cell hyperplasia in the small arteries and arterioles of the kidneys. Dietary vitamin C supplementation in SHRs lowered the systolic blood pressure, tissue aldehyde conjugates and attenuated adverse renal vascular changes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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