Corvallis, OR— A higher intake of vitamin C is crucial for metabolic syndrome patients trying to halt a cycle of antioxidant disruption and health-related problems, according to researchers from Oregon State University (OSU).

The findings, published inRedox Biology and covered in a report byScience Daily, suggest that a diet high in saturated fat results in chronic low-grade inflammation. This in turn leads to the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with cognitive dysfunction, dementia, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

The science links a diet high in saturated fats to imbalances in the gut microbiome that play a role in vitamin C depletion, which subsequently impairs the trafficking of vitamin E, often resulting in metabolic syndrome.

"Vitamin C actually protects vitamin E, so when you have lipid peroxidation, vitamin E is used up and vitamin C can regenerate it," Maret Traber, professor at the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, explained in Science Daily. "If you don't have the vitamin C, the vitamin E gets lost and then you lose both of those antioxidants and end up in this vicious cycle of depleting your antioxidant protection."