Vitamin C greatly enhances the ability of vitamin E to prevent damage to LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, which, if damaged, is suspected of being the first step in the progression to heart disease, according to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.
In the past few years, scientists have found that oxygen-free radicals, toxic byproducts of normal chemistry, can damage LDL. The damaged LDL then becomes embedded into arterial walls, leading to a buildup of fatty deposits. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals, but eventually peters out. Vitamin C comes to the rescue by converting vitamin E back into its active form.