High-dose ascorbic acid infusion abolishes chronic vasoconstriction and restores resting leg blood flow in healthy older men

Journal of Applied Physiology
Kristen L JablonskiAnthony J Donato

Abstract

Resting whole leg blood flow and vascular conductance decrease linearly with advancing age in healthy adult men. The potential role of age-related increases in oxidative stress in these changes is unknown. Resting leg blood flow during saline and ascorbic acid infusion was studied in 10 young (25 +/- 1 yr) and 11 older (63 +/- 2 yr) healthy normotensive men. Plasma oxidized LDL, a marker of oxidative stress, was greater in the older men (P < 0.05). Absolute resting femoral artery blood flow at baseline (iv saline control infusion) was 25% lower in the older men (238 +/- 25 vs. 316 +/- 38 ml/min; P < 0.05), and it was inversely related to plasma oxidized LDL (r = -0.56, P < 0.01) in all subjects. Infusion of supraphysiological concentrations of ascorbic acid increased femoral artery blood flow by 37% in the older men (to 327 +/- 52 ml/min; P < 0.05), but not in the young men (352 +/- 41 ml/min; P = 0.28), thus abolishing group differences (P = 0.72). Mean arterial blood pressure was greater in the older men at baseline (86 +/- 4 vs. 78 +/- 2 mmHg; P < 0.05), but it was unaffected by ascorbic acid infusion (P >/= 0.70). As a result, the lower baseline femoral artery blood flow in the older men was mediated solely by a 32% lower f...Continue Reading

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