In the 1960s, Dr. Linus Pauling advocated using vitamin C to maintain health and increase longevity. Research from Berkeley, Harvard, and Tufts Universities on the effects of vitamin C on the risk of heart attack, cataracts, and certain cancers continues to validate Dr. Pauling's findings.
In an ongoing Harvard study, researchers reported that women who took 350 mg to 400 mg of vitamin C per day for 16 years cut their risk of heart attack and other coronary events by 30% compared to those who did not take supplements. The findings are based on the follow-up of over 85,000 female nurses between the ages of 30 and 55.
In a 12-year study from Tufts University, experts followed the health of 725 volunteers aged 60 to 101. Those who consumed more than 700 mg per day of vitamin C had a 62% reduced risk of dying from heart disease, and a 50% reduction in mortality rate -- death from any disease -- suggesting that adequate vitamin C intake may increase life span. The scientists also noted the highest degree of health was observed in those who combined vitamin C supplementation with foods high in vitamin C.
According to a study from Tufts University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving 500 women aged 53 to 73, those who took vitamin C daily for 10 years or more were 60% less likely to develop cataracts than non-supplement users.
In the Berkeley study of 67 nonsmokers who were exposed to environmental smoke, those who took 500 mg of vitamin C per day had lower levels of oxidative stress, as measured by the presence of a compound linked to the damage done by second-hand smoke, according to a report in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.