The Effect of High‐Dose Ascorbate Supplementation on Plasma Lipoprotein(a) Levels in Patients With Premature Coronary Heart Disease

Andrew G. Bostom, Rhode Island Hospital
Anne L. Hume, University of Rhode Island
Charles B. Eaton, The Warren Alpert Medical School
Joseph P. Laurino, The Warren Alpert Medical School
Lisa R. Yanek, The Warren Alpert Medical School
Mary S. Regan, The Warren Alpert Medical School
William H. McQuade, The Warren Alpert Medical School
Wendy Y. Craig, Foundation for Blood Research
Gayle Perrone, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Paul F. Jacques, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging


Study Objective. To determine the efficacy of high‐dose ascorbate supplementation in lowering lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] levels in patients with premature coronary heart disease (CHD). Design. Randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial. Setting. Outpatient clinic. Patients. Forty‐four patients with documented premature CHD. defined as confirmed myocardial infarction and/or angiographically determined stenosis of 50% or greater in at least one major coronary artery before age 60 years. Interventions. Patients were block randomized on the basis of age, gender, and screening Lp(a) concentrations to receive ascorbate 4.5 g/day or placebo for 12 weeks. Measurements and Main Results. High‐dose ascorbate was well tolerated and produced a marked elevation in mean plasma ascorbate levels (+1.2 mg/dl; p<0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed no significant effect of supplementation on postintervention Lp(a) levels (p=0.39) in a model that included treatment group assignment, and baseline Lp(a) levels. Conclusions. Our findings do not support a clinically important lowering effect of high‐dose ascorbate on plasma Lp(a) in patients with premature CHD. 1995 Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc.