Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vitamin C: The Universal Helper


Vitamin C has been the subject of research for almost a century.  Therefore, much is known about its beneficial effects.  It is a water soluble vitamin, but is very sensitive to oxygen.  Foods which contain Vitamin C will lose their vitamin content very quickly if left open to the air.  For instance, a sliced cantaloupe left uncovered in the refrigerator loses 35% of its Vitamin C content in less than 24 hours (1).  It is suggested that foods containing Vitamin C be consumed as soon as possible after slicing or peeling, so as to get as much benefit from these foods as possible.


The main function of Vitamin C in the body is the manufacture of collagen, the main protein substance of the human body.  This protein makes up the structures that hold our bodies together, such as connective tissues, cartilage, tendons, and even those little lines and wrinkles in the skin which you see as you get older are the result of a decrease in collagen production.  Vitamin C is essential for wound repair, healthy gums, and the prevention of easy brusing (2).

But this is not the only use for Vitamin C in the body.  Although it would be impossible to prove, it has been theorized that Vitamin C in some way plays a part in improving any health challenge one could name (3).  Vitamin C plays an important role in all immune system functions, particularly in enhancing white blood cell function and activity, increasing interferon levels, antibody responses, antibody levels, and secretion of thymic hormones.  Any time there is increased chemical, emotional, psychological or physiological stress, the body excretes Vitamin C at an increased rate.  So, worrying about whether you are going to have enough money to pay your bills, inhaling the fumes from the cleaning supplies you use to clean your bathroom, or catching a cold can all severely deplete your Vitamin C levels.  Since we have stress every day of our lives, it stands to reason that we need to supplement with Vitamin C every day.  The normal human body, when saturated, contains about 5000 milligrams of Vitamin C, of which 30 milligrams are found in the adrenal glands, 200 milligrams in the extracellular fluids, and the rest distributed in varying concentrations throughout the rest of the body.  The body's ability to absorb Vitamin C is impaired by smoking, stress, high fever, prolonged administration of antibiotics or cortisone, inhalation of DDT or fumes of petroleum, and ingestion of aspirin or other painkillers (4).  So, when you give your child some kind of drug to lower their fever during times of cold, flu, ear infection, or other infective process, you are actually reducing their immune system's ability to fight the infection.

Sulfa drugs increase urinary excretion of Vitamin C by two or three times the normal amount.  Baking soda creates an alkaline medium that destroys Vitamin C.  Drinking excess water also depletes the body's Vitamin C content.  Cooking with copper utensils also destroys the Vitamin C content of foods.

As an antioxidant, Vitamin C also helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Vitamin C protects the  LDL cholesterol from oxidation.  It strengthens the collagen structure of arteries, lowers total cholesterol, and blood pressure, an inhibits platelet aggregation.  One of the largest and most detailed studies of Vitamin C showed that taking this vitamin could produce an increase in longevity of 5 to 7 years for men, and 1 to 3 years for women (5).

Actual clinical, experimental, and population studies have shown that Vitamn C can reduce cancer rates, boost immunity, protect against pollution and cigarette smoke, enhance wound repair, increase life expectancy, and reduce the risk of cataracts.  A high Vitamin C intake reduces the risk for virtually all forms of cancer, including cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, oral cavity, and pancreas.
Experts on asthma tell us that some of the reasons for the rise in asthma in our society are the increased stress on the immune system, earlier weaning and earlier introduction of solid foods to infants, use of food additives, more air pollution, and genetic manipulation of plants resulting in food components with greater allergenic tendencies.  Infants who experience great psychological stress shortly after birth or while in-utero also are more susceptible to these breathing disorders.  Vitamin C is a major antioxidant substance which protects the airway surface of the lungs from oxidative damage.  It makes sense that lower levels of Vitamin C would mean more susceptibility to breathing disorders.

Vitamin C has also been used for psychological disorders as well, including schizophrenia, depression, and paranoia. It has helped to increase the IQ of children, and has also helped prevent back problems by preserving the integrity of intervertebral disks (7).

Some of the major conditions where Vitamin C is of value:

Asthma
Atherosclerosis
Auto-immune disorders
Cancer
Candidiasis
Capillary fragility
Cataracts
Cervical dysplasia
Crohn's disease
Common Cold
Coronary artery disease
Diabetes
Eczema
Fatigue
Gallbladder disease
Gingivitis
Glaucoma
hepatitis
Herpes simplex
Herpes zoster
High blood pressure
Hives
Infections
Infertility
Macular degeneration
Menopause
Mitral valve prolapse
Multiple sclerosis
Osteoarthritis
Parkinson's disease
Periodontal disease
Peptic ulcers
Peripheral vascular disease
Preeclampsia
Rhematoid arthritis
Skin ulcers
Sports injuries
Wound healing (6).

Nutritional Sources for Vitamin C:

Most people believe that citrus fruits are the best source of Vitamin C.  However, there are many fruits and vegetables that have more or at least as much as citrus fruits.  A 3.5 oz serving of an orange contains about 50 milligrams, while a red chili pepper contains 369 milligrams, and a potato contains 25 to 30 milligrams.  The following list contains sources for vitamin C in descending order, from greatest to least.

Acerola 
Peppers, red chili 
Guavas 
Peppers, red sweet 
Kale leaves 
Parsley 
Collar leaves 
Turnip greens 
Peppers, green sweet 
Broccoli 
Brussels sprouts 
Mustard greens 
Watercress 
Cauliflower 
Persimmons 
Cabbage, red 
Strawberries 
Papayas 
Spinach 
Oranges and juice 
Cabbage 
Lemon juice 
Grapefruit and juice 
Elderberries 
Liver, calf 
Turnips 
Mangoes 
Asparagus 
Cantaloupe 
Swiss chard 
Green onions 
Liver, beef 
Okra 
Tangerines 
Potatoes 
Oysters 
Lima beans, young 
Black-eyes peas 
Soybeans 
Green peas 
Radishes 
Raspberries 
Chinese cabbage 
Yellow summer squash 
Loganberries 
Honeydew melons 
Tomatoes  (Murray, p. 60, Dunne p. 305).

Liposomal Vitamin C is the best source.  Purchase Here 

What are the benefits of Liposomal Vitamin C? Using liposomal vitamin C as opposed to traditional vitamin C has several benefits. The liposomal coating allows vitamin C to dissolve into the lining of the stomach rather than entering the digestive tract. After it is in the bloodstream, the special liposome layer continues to work by penetrating the cell wall and delivering the vitamin C directly to the cell. As a result, more vitamin C is absorbed into the body than through traditional means of administration.

Conventional pills and liquid drops allow approximately 19 percent of a 1,000-milligram serving of vitamin C to enter the bloodstream. Liposomal vitamin C allows for 93 percent of a 1,000-milligram dose of vitamin C to enter the bloodstream. The more vitamin C infused into the body, the more nourishment it has to draw from.  
Using liposomal vitamin C as opposed to traditional vitamin C has several benefits. The liposomal coating allows vitamin C to dissolve into the lining of the stomach rather than entering the digestive tract. After it is in the bloodstream, the special liposome layer continues to work by penetrating the cell wall and delivering the vitamin C directly to the cell. As a result, more vitamin C is absorbed into the body than through traditional means of administration. (8)

Back to the Vitamin Menu






Copyright 2015  Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

References:
(1)  Murray, Michael T. (1996).  The Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Rocklin, CA:  Prima Publishing, p. 59.
(2)  Murray, as above, p. 61.
(3)  Personal Health Lifestyles, Inc.  (2000).  "Vitamin C."  Healing With Nutrition.  Available Online:  [http://www.healingwithnutrition.com/vitamin.html#VitaminC].
(4)  Dunne, Lavon J. (1990).  Nutrition Almanac. New York:  McGraw-Hill, p. 44.
(5)  Engstrom, J.E., Kanim, L.E., and Klein, M.A.  (1992).  Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population. Epidemiology, 3, 194-202.
(6)  Murray, as in (1) above, pp. 66-67.
(7)  Dunne, as in (4) above, p. 46. 

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