Vitamin C prevents the acute decline of flow-mediated dilation after altered shear rate patterns

Blair D. Johnson, Kieren J. Mather, Sean C. Newcomer, Timothy D. Mickleborough, Janet P. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Oscillatory and retrograde shear rate (SR) impairs endothelial function, potentially through shear-induced oxidative stress. We tested the hypothesis that acute vitamin C supplementation would prevent the attenuation of brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) after a period of augmented oscillatory and retrograde SR. Twelve healthy men (aged 26 ± 3 years) participated in two 30-min study visits in which one arm was subjected to increased oscillatory and retrograde SR, using 60mmHg of forearm cuff compression, and the contralateral arm served as the control. Subjects ingested capsules containing either placebo (sucrose) or vitamin C at 90 and 120 min (1000 mg total vitamin C) prior to cuff compression periods in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study. Oscillatory and retrograde SR in the cuffed arms increased during the compression periods in the placebo and vitamin C study visits (p < 0.01 for both), with no difference between studies (p > 0.05). Antegrade SR remained unchanged throughout the compression periods (p > 0.05), and mean SR was lower in the cuffed arm than in the control arm for both study visits (p < 0.05). FMD decreased after cuff compression in the placebo cuffed arm (precompression vs. postcompression, 5.2% ± 1.4% vs. 3.5% ± 1.4%; p < 0.05), but remained unchanged after vitamin C therapy in the cuffed arm (precompression vs. postcompression, 5.3% ± 2.4% vs. 5.7% ± 2.6%; p > 0.05). No FMD changes were observed in the control arm for either study visit (p > 0.05). These data demonstrate that acute vitamin C supplementation prevents the attenuation of FMD due to altered SR patterns, suggesting that oxidative stress contributes to the oscillatory and retrograde SR-induced impairment of FMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 4 2013


  • Antegrade shear
  • Endothelium
  • Oscillatory
  • Oxidative stress
  • Retrograde shear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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