How important is vitamin C in your diet?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which is essential for normal functioning of the body. Unlike most mammals, humans don't have the ability to make their own vitamin C. We must therefore obtain vitamin C through our diet. Ideally one would take the natural form of vitamin C which is in fresh vegetables and fruits. One needs fresh non-processed vegetables and some fruits to obtain vitamin C. Juicing is a great way to get vitamin C through fruits and vegetables. The FDA recommends that we get 60 mgs of vitamin C per day.
Are there any benefits which can be obtained from consuming more Vitamin C than the FDA's recommended daily intake of a miserable 60mg - barely enough to keep one out of rags and scurvy. Dr. Frederick Klenner was probably the leading authority on the clinical use of vitamin C. On the question of when vitamin C is appropriate Dr. Klenner said "Vitamin C should be given to the patient while the doctors ponder the diagnosis." Vitamin C and heart disease French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. They believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.(3) A study found that long-term administration of vitamin C reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. Researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. The dose of vitamin C improved dilation of the brachial artery, as assessed by a high-resolution vascular ultrasound done 2 hours later. The researchers reported that the effect was sustained among patients who subsequently took 1/2 gram of vitamin C daily for 30 days.(4) Vitamin C and the risk of stroke Individuals with high blood levels of vitamin C have significantly reduced risk of stroke, according to a recently published long-term study (5). "To my knowledge, this is the first prospective study to make the correlation between vitamin C in the bloodstream and incidence of stroke," says author Tetsuji Yokoyama, M.D., research associate in epidemiology at the Medical Research Institute of Tokyo Medical and Dental University. The risk of stroke was inversely related to vitamin C in the bloodstream in this study. It is important to realize that ideally we should get our vitamin C from the foods we eat. Using supplements as a substitute for whole foods and expect to get healthy is delusional. You must consume whole unprocessed foods to maximize your health. Good sources of vitamin C are green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, guavas, melons, papayas, etc.
Over the years, many studies have found that vitamin C is an effective anti-cancer agent. Vitamin C works in the following ways to help the body fight cancer cells: Studies suggest that vitamin C's antioxidant mechanisms may help to prevent cancer in several ways. Vitamin C combats the peroxidation of lipids, for example, which has been linked to degeneration and the aging process. One study of elderly people found that 400 mg of vitamin C per day (for a one-year period) reduced serum lipid peroxide levels. Vitamin C can also work inside the cells to protect the DNA from the damage caused by free radicals. In several studies, report the researchers Gaby and Singh, vitamin C reduced the level of potentially destructive genetic alterations or chromosome aberrations.(6) Many of the pollutants which now pervade our environment can cause carcinogenic, toxic or mutagenic effects. Vitamin C may be able to combat these harmful effects, in part by stimulating detoxifying enzymes in the liver. In another study, vitamin C was shown to block the formation of fecal mutagens.(7) Finally, vitamin C can reduce the development of nitrosamines from nitrates, chemicals which are commonly used in processed foods. Once formed, nitrosamine can become carcinogens. In several human studies(8), in which the subjects consumed a nitrosamine precursor, the urinary levels of nitrosamines were significantly reduced by vitamin C. As far back as the 1940s, researchers began to note a connection between the incidence of cancer and low blood levels in the body or a dietary deficiency of vitamin C. Studies conducted in the past 10 years have confirmed that link. According to 2 studies from the early 1980s, 2 to 5 grams of vitamin C per day can correct these low serum levels and, in some patients, improve the defenses put up by the immune system.(9) Based on numerous studies, it seems clear that there is a strong relationship between a person's vitamin C intake and cancer risk. In 1991, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a comprehensive analysis of some 45 studies on vitamin C's protective effects against various types of cancer. Of these, 32 studies reported a significant link between vitamin C intake and the incidence of cancer. In fact, a high intake of vitamin C offered twice the protection of a low intake. Many of these studies defined a "high intake" as a daily dosage of 160 mg or more per day; a "low intake" generally was less than 70 mg.(10) Vitamin C to prevent cataracts? Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Cataracts occur more frequently and become more severe as people get older. Decreased vitamin C levels in the lens of the eye have been associated with increased severity of cataracts in humans. Some, but not all, studies have observed increased dietary vitamin C intake (11) and increased blood levels of vitamin C (12) to be associated with a decreased risk of cataracts. I spend a lot of time researching the best prices for supplements on the internet. In my opinion the best prices for vitamin C on the internet are here . I also like Puritan Pride's special "Buy 1 Get 2 FREE" promotions on vitamin C. To enhance the antioxidant properties, it is best to take vitamin C with the other antioxidants, as there is strong evidence of synergy between various antioxidants. Vitamin C can be taken in many different forms, which will be the subject of another article. Vitamin C in powder and crystals form, Ester C, buffered vitamin C, vitamin C in chewable form, in liquid form, etc. The important thing is to make sure vitamin C is part of your diet.