Vitamin C is one of the most important molecules you can put into your body. It is well known as an antioxidant and immune enhancer, but here is something else it does—lower blood pressure. A study at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that vitamin C lowered blood pressure by an average of 5 points in patients diagnosed with hypertension.

A five-point reduction is significant. It can mean the difference between having to take a drug or not. In fact, a 5-point reduction is similar to the results you get from taking common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure is dangerous, and these dangers have been known for decades. But even slightly elevated pressure is dangerous. A study in the journal Neurology found that people whose pressure was only slightly high (pre-hypertension) were 55 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.

While hypertension medications have a long list of nasty side effects, including depression and sexual dysfunction, vitamin C is perfectly safe and good for the body. Ramp up to 6000 mg per day. If this dose causes diarrhea, cut back until it stops. The kind of vitamin C is also important. I recommend vitamin C buffered with minerals like calcium and magnesium. Be sure your vitamin C is 100 percent L-ascorbate and is corn antigen free—it should say this on the label.