A new meta-analysis has found supplementing with Vitamin C after heart surgery can help lower the risks of developing atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heart rhythm which oftentimes results in a rapid heartbeat. AFib is not uncommon and can lead to serious complications like heart failure and stroke. AFib can be triggered by stressful conditions. Approximately 30% of patients having heart surgeries experience post surgical AFib.
Over 2000 individuals participated in the 15 randomized trials that were reviewed for this meta-analysis. These studies looked at the effect of either intravenous or oral Vitamin C supplementation after cardiac surgery. Oral supplementation with Vitamin C decreased the incidence of post surgical AFib by 73% and intravenous supplementation decreased post operative AFib by 36%. Reductions in hospital stays were also seen in the Vitamin C supplement groups. The intravenous Vitamin C supplement group saw a 16% reduction (1.5 days) in hospital stay while the oral supplement group saw a 7% reduction (.4 days) in hospital stay. There were also significant differences in trial results amongst geographic and socio-economic demographics. Individuals living in less wealthy countries saw better results with Vitamin C supplementation than individuals living in more affluent countries. Researchers concluded that individuals with lower serum Vitamin C levels benefit more than individuals with adequate VitAamin C levels prior to surgery.
Further research is needed.
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