Numerous studies have looked at the association between ascorbic acid intake and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CHD). Although there have been some conflicting results, many studies have shown a benefit of high vitamin C intake for a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (Naidu, 2003). For example, a large prospective epidemiological study in Finnish men and women suggested that high intake of ascorbic acid was associated with a reduced risk of death from CHD in women (Knekt et al, 1994). Similarly, another study in American men and women suggested that a higher vitamin C intake was associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality in both sexes (Enstrom et al, 1992). Overall, risk of death was 42% lower in men and 25% lower in women who consumed more than 50 mg/day of dietary vitamin C and regularly took vitamin C supplements, corresponding to a total vitamin C intake of about 300 mg/day (Enstrom et al, 1992). Another study of over 85,000 women showed that intake of more than 359 mg/day from diet plus supplements or supplement use itself was associated with a 27-28% reduction in CHD risk (Osganian et al, 2002). Finally, a pooled analysis of nine prospective cohort studies, including more than 290,000 adults who were free of heart disease at baseline and followed for an average of ten years, found that those who took more than 700 mg/day of supplemental vitamin C had a 25% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who did not take vitamin C supplements (Knekt et al, 2004). Overall, evidence from studies clearly suggests that taking vitamin C at levels higher than the recommended daily intake is beneficial, and may play a role in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.
L-Lysine may amplify the benefits associated with vitamin C when it comes to the prevention of heart disease. L-Lysine may help to prevent the accumulation of Lp(a) on the walls of arteries and help release Lp(a) that has already accumulated there (Rath, 1992). This is possible because L-Lysine binds to components of atherosclerotic plaque, such as fibrin and fibrinogen, thus preventing Lp(a) from binding to these same sites, and, if levels of L-Lysine are high enough, it could actually displace Lp(a), reducing accumulation in the arteries (Rath, 1992).
Medi-C Plus – Other Benefits
Teeth and gums
Bones and cartilage
Recovery from shingles
Recovery from herpes outbreaks
There are literally tens of thousands of published studies pertaining to Vitamin C and Lysine individually. Vitamin C is best known for its importance as an antioxidant and for good reason. The vitamin is arguably the single most important water soluble antioxidant in the human body. On the other hand, the essential amino acid Lysine is probably best known for its use for those with herpes simplex infections but several other benefits have been ascribed to the molecule including favorable effects on blood pressure and stroke prevention but also a positive influence on mood.
The clinical importance of Vitamin C includes proper enzymatic function and the vitamin activates enzymes required for the production of collagen, scar tissue, blood vessel and cartilage. The impact of vitamin C deficiency is first seen in this realm of the vitamin’s activity with clinical signs of scurvy including bleeding from mucous membranes.
Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to help lower histamine levels, a significant benefit for allergy sufferers. Enzymes necessary for the production of cellular energy also require Vitamin C and a deficiency leads to lethargy and depression. Vitamin C is also needed for the production of stress hormones such as noradrenaline as well as several hormones.
Finally, the importance of vitamin C for the immune system is clear with studies showing that vitamin C is quickly depleted in infections and that immune cells contain high concentrations of the vitamin.
As far as Lysine is concerned, the studies are also numerous. Lysine is an essential amino acid in humans meaning that we must obtain the nutrient from our diet since our bodies cannot produce it. Usually foods high in protein such as eggs, soy and meat are good food sources of Lysine. Interestingly, Lysine is typically found in limited quantities in grains but in abundance in legumes which is why it is often recommended to combine them to get a more complete protein.
Other than its benefits for herpes simplex infections, lysine blocks serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract and could help with some gastrointestinal problems related to anxiety. Population studies have also shown a correlation between lysine deficiency and anxiety.
Basic Info on Lysine and Vitamin C
The famous scientist Linus Pauling was the first to suggest that supplementing with a combination of Vitamin C and L-Lysine could be beneficial for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as other chronic diseases. In the 1970’s he suggested that high doses of Vitamin C, of at least 1g per day, could be taken to prevent the common cold. It has since been shown that although mega-doses of vitamin C do not have a prophylactic effect on colds and viruses, doses of 1-2g per day can be helpful for reducing cold symptom severity and duration (Iqbal et al, 2004). Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is required in the body for the synthesis of collagen, carnitine and neurotransmitters and which plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system (Naidu, 2003). Although most animals can synthesize vitamin C themselves, humans and apes have lost this ability, and must obtain vitamin C from their diet (Rath & Pauling, 1990a). Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, and plays a role in preventing the formation of free radicals and lipid peroxidation in the body. Lipid peroxidation and oxidative modification of low density lipoproteins (LDL) are implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. Overall, research has shown that vitamin C will protect against lipid peroxidation and LDL oxidation in the body, and therefore can help protect against the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (Naidu, 2003).
L-Lysine is an amino acid which, along with vitamin C, is required for collagen production. This means that adequate Vitamin C and Lysine levels are required to sustain blood vessel repair and integrity. Doses of 150mg to 3000mg per day are recommended for helping to promote collagen formation in the body (NHPD Monograph, 2008). L-Lysine is also well known for its anti-viral properties, and is often used to help reduce the recurrence of cold sores. However, based on Pauling and Rath’s theories regarding the role of Lp(a) in the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, there are other benefits of L-Lysine as well