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Healthier diet, healthier life

Vitamin C is linked to smaller waist size, lower blood pressure and less inflammation, and vitamin D cut weight and chances of heart disease, in two new studies.

In a vitamin C study, doctors wanted to know if vitamin C levels could predict signs of chronic disease in young people. Researchers measured blood levels of ascorbic acid and signs of the inflammation that can lead to chronic disease in about 1,000 nonsmoking men and women, aged 20 to 29. Compared to those who were deficient in vitamin C, those with adequate vitamin C levels had about half the signs of inflammation, lower blood pressure, smaller waist size and lower body mass index (BMI).

Doctors in a vitamin D study measured levels of vitamin D and signs of cardiovascular disease, including metabolic syndrome, in about 250 men and women aged at least 18. About 30 percent of those with the lowest vitamin D levels had metabolic syndrome compared to 10 percent for those with the highest vitamin D levels. People with more vitamin D also had lower BMI and waist size, and lower levels of triglycerides. In what researchers said was the most notable finding, as vitamin D levels increased, levels of HDL-C, the good cholesterol, also rose, cutting the chances of coronary heart disease significantly. 

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