In this month’s blog, we will look at Vitamin C and its many uses!
Vitamin C is so versatile and beneficial and it could very well be one of the safest and most important vitamins you could take on a daily basis. It is important for so many chemical reactions in the body, that without it, life would not be possible. Energy cannot be made in any cell either in the brain or muscles without adequate vitamin C. Vitamin C defends our body against foreign invaders of every type.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate, is an essential vitamin to the human body. Its active form is L-ascorbate or L-ascorbic acid. While Vitamin C is synthesized in almost all plants and animals, certain mammals including humans cannot synthesize the vitamin. Therefore, it must be ingested through diet or supplements. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development, which means that when you take a supplement, extra amounts that the body doesn’t use is excreted in the urine. Therefore, it is difficult to overdose on Vitamin C.
1. Antioxidant Protection & Anti-Aging
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps to defend the cells of the body against free radicals. Every day we are exposed to free radicals and they damage our bodies, affect our skin and ageing and also cause illness. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C is one of the nutrients that blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C is now also a common ingredient in anti-aging creams, as it is used in the body to form collagen. Collagen is a protein used to make skin and tissue and it helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. Ensuring your body has enough vitamin C can prevent and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles as well as dark spots. Vitamin C also helps the hair retain moisture to prevent breakage or dryness. Having hair that’s splitting or dry is a common sign of vitamin C deficiency. By working as an antioxidant, Vitamin C also fights oxidative stress that contributes to hair greying and hair loss.
2. Heavy Metal Chelation (Detox)
Heavy metal toxicity—from metals such as mercury, aluminium, copper, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and lead—represents one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being.
Toxic heavy metals are virtually everywhere, and are present in things we come in contact with every day, such as aluminium cans and aluminium (tin) foil, batteries, metal cookware, old paint, and even the foods we eat. For instance, pesticides and herbicides (which are hard to completely avoid even on a strict organic diet), are a common source of heavy metals. As a result, most of us are carrying around heavy metals that have been with us for almost our whole lives and which have burrowed deep inside our tissues. Unfortunately, it is these “old” metals, the ones that have been lurking in our system for prolonged periods of time, that pose the greatest threat. Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and helps the body rid itself from metals that have built up in the tissues. There are many heavy metal chelation detox plans, some up to 3000mg per day which is quite a large dose. While Vitamin C is an excellent chelator, any detox should be done under the supervision of a doctor or healthcare practitioner. We also recommend some herbal or homeopathic detox productions here at Midlands Kinesiology that work exceptionally well at removing heavy metals from the body.
3. Growth & Healing
We need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It is also essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of people’s cartilage, bones, and teeth. Not only does vitamin C help to heal wounds on the soft tissues of the body by promoting the development of scar tissue, it also helps repair the teeth, bones and cartilage. Supplementing with Vitamin C after surgery, can help aid recovery and faster healing.
4. Common Cold & Flu Fighter
While vitamin C hasn’t been proven to directly prevent a common cold, it can help shorten the length of a cold and reduce the severity of symptoms. Vitamin C kills both viruses (the flu) and bacteria directly, by aiding in neutralizing the toxins they give off, and also feeding our own antibodies and white blood cells. It has killing power against viruses and supplementing coming in to the winter can ensure your immune system is strong enough to fight colds and flus. The body’s own antibodies are unable to fight bacteria without vitamin C.
Vitamin C detoxifies anything natural or unnatural which a persons body may not have immunity against. Studies have proven that vitamin C helps to prevent allergies by detoxifying the allergen before it causes a reaction. Many people suffering with Hayfever/ Sinusitis benefit greatly by supplementing with vitamin C to help the body fight and detox allergens.
6. Disease Prevention
Daily intake of vitamin C can help lower your risk for developing certain cancers as well as heart disease and inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, by promoting collagen production. Eating enough vitamin C, antioxidant-rich foods make it virtually impossible for our body to experience cellular inflammation. And, remember, inflammation is an essential component to just about every chronic, degenerative disease – including cancer.
7. Heavy Menstruation/ Endometriosis
Women with endometriosis are often estrogen dominant- meaning they have more estrogen compared to progesterone than they should. A great way to increase progesterone is to add more vitamin C into your diet. It helps strengthen the liver function to balance the oestrogen level during the menstrual cycle. Vitamin C can also hasten the healing of tissues damaged by cysts and scarring; it also helps control heavy bleeding by strengthening capillary walls. It also helps to prevent blood clotting.
8. Digestive Absorption
Iron is needed for maintaining healthy red blood cells and muscle tissue. Vitamin C has been shown to help the body absorb this important mineral more easily for better use throughout the body. Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid to digest and break down our food. Without enough Vitamin C in the diet, hydrochloric acid production is reduced, leaving us with poor digestion symptoms including burping, excess wind and heartburn. By simply getting enough Vitamin C, you can improve your digestion.
9. Heart Health
Along with co-enzyme Q10, Vitamin C can help protect the venous tone of the arteries, prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lower the risk for heart disease but breaking open clogged arteries, repairing damage to arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin C increases the production of collagen, elastin and other “reinforcement molecules” which support your blood vessels. More collagen means more stability for your arteries, veins and capillaries. When you lack vitamin C, cracks and lesions form in the walls of your blood vessels. When blood vessels break down, arterial plaques fortify the weakness and “repair” the damage. But when these arterial plaques become too thick, they block the flow of blood. A lack of blood to the heart triggers a heart attack and a lack of blood to the brain causes a stroke.
How do I know I am deficient in Vitamin C?
Dry and splitting hair
Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
Rough, dry, scaly skin
Decreased wound-healing rate
Weakened tooth enamel
Swollen and painful joints
Decreased ability to fight infection
How much vitamin C can I supplement with?
When obtained from food sources and supplements in the recommended dosages, vitamin C is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rarely reported, but include diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal symptom. If a poor quality vitamin is used, a person could be allergic to the fillers or binders used to manufacture the vitamin pill. Good quality vitamin C powder is best to take, which has no fillers and is just the pure vitamin. It must not include zinc or other vitamins, as some other vitamins are toxic in large quantities. For most healthy individuals, the body can only hold and use about 200-250 mg of vitamin C a day, and any excess is lost though urine. At times of illness, during recovery from injury, or under conditions of increased oxidative stress, the body can use greater amounts. You can safely consume up to 2000 mg, but having more than 2000 mg, or 2 g, of vitamin C in your diet may cause adverse health effects. Always consult your doctor or health practitioner before supplementing with large doses of any vitamin or mineral.
Are there any other special considerations?
Adverse affects may occur between vitamin C and anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin), decreasing their action. Nicotine products, oral contraceptives/oestrogens, tetracyclines, barbiturates (anxiety or sleep medication) and aspirin may decrease levels of vitamin C.
Vitamin C may increase absorption of iron and lutein. Although some evidence suggests that large doses of supplemental vitamin C may interfere with the absorption and metabolism of vitamin B12 found in food, other studies have shown no such effects
What are the best food sources of Vitamin C?
To get the most nutrition and Vitamin C from your fruits and veggies, there are a few easy tips to follow: eat real foods that are uncooked and raw, make an effort to eat your fruits and vegetables soon after cutting them up, and steam fruits and veggies, instead of boiling them. As I always say, eating organic, raw fresh foods is your best possible source of nutrition
Fruits and vegetables remain the best way to get more vitamin C in your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some of the highest concentrations of the vitamin can be found in berries, watermelon, pineapple, mango, spinach, broccoli, red and green peppers, green chillis and tomatoes.
For more information on Heavy Metal Chelation, or to be tested for Heavy metal toxicity or Vitamin C deficiency, get in touch with us here, or phone Maeve on 0861077569 or 0906400184!