Stressed out? Vitamin C is possibly the perfect chill pill
|CNN's Dr. Steve Salvatore reports on vitamin C and stress study findings.
August 23, 1999
Web posted at: 1:03 p.m. EDT (1703 GMT)
By Medical Correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore
NEW ORLEANS (CNN) -- Heading to another stressful day at the
office? Consider pouring an extra glass of orange juice in
the morning. Vitamin C may help the body manage stress more
effectively, scientists said this week.
"We found that giving rats large doses of vitamin C
essentially abolished the secretion of stress hormones," said P.
Samuel Campbell of the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
Test rodents that did not receive the vitamin experienced
three times the level of stress hormones, according to
Campbell and other researchers, who presented their findings
at the American Chemical Society conference in New Orleans.
In addition to fighting stress, vitamin C helped boost the
body's natural defenses, they said.
"We think that from what we see, vitamin C may in fact
provide for better immune system function under stress so
individuals are better able to combat illness," Campbell
While the test subjects were rats, researchers say they can
apply the findings to humans.
"There are reports that ultramarathon runners having vitamin
C have a lower incidence of upper respiratory infection than
those not taking vitamin C; the same thing with military
recruits responding to basic training," Campbell said.
One 8-ounce glass of orange juice provides 97 milligrams of vitamin C.
The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance ranges from 50 to 60
milligrams for adults.
But some nutrition researchers think
that benchmark is outdated. A higher daily dose is
required to reap the greatest medical benefits, they say. Most
experts recommend at least 200 mg per day.
"The RDAs ... were established to prevent deficiencies, but
as we are getting more research, there is a new philosophy --
that is, what we can do to promote health," said Chris
Rosenbloom of Georgia State University.
Experts warn not to overdo it. For some, an excessive use of
vitamin C can backfire.
"People who have kidney stones should not take excess vitamin
C, because vitamin C is converted to a compound which can form
stones," Rosenbloom explained.
Mind-body medicine for stress
June 2, 1999
Stress, coping and balance
June 1, 1999
Research links mental stress, more deaths from heart disease
March 9, 1999
American Chemical Society
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