Benefits Of Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C is best known for its ability to help fight colds and flu, a powerful antioxidant that enhances the immune system and a natural antihistamine. It is also a stress vitamin; and is easily depleted with daily tensions and frustrations.
The level of ascorbic acid in the blood reaches a maximum in 2 or 3 hours after ingestion of a moderate quantity, then decreases as it is eliminated in the urine and through perspiration. Most is out of the body in 3 to 4 hours. This is why it must be supplied often throughout the day. To maintain adequate levels, it should be taken at 3 to 4 hour intervals; time release formulas are preferred. It is also available in powder and syrup. Avoid the chewable tablets, they can erode the enamel on your teeth.
The body's ability to absorb vitamin C is reduced by high fever, smoking, stress and fumes of petroleum or other toxic fumes. Sulfa drugs increase urinary excretion by two or three times the normal amount. Also, drinking excessive amounts of water will deplete the vitamin. Baking soda creates an alkaline medium that destroys vitamin C.
Conditions that increase people's requirement for vitamin C include burns, congestive heart failure, diarrhea, infection, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma and surgery.
The need for vitamin C increases with age, because of a greater need to regenerate collagen. With age, the sex glands develop a greater need and will draw vitamin C from other tissues, leaving those tissues vulnerable to disease.
The Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
- aids in the absorption of copper and iron
- aids in interferon production
- enhances immunity
- essential in the formation of collagen
- may prevent atherosclerosis
- may reduce cholesterol levels
- may reduce high blood pressure
- needed for the metabolism of
- folic acid
- prevents cancer
- promotes the healing of wounds
- promotes the production of anti-stress hormones
- protects against blood clotting and bruising
- protects against harmful effects of pollution
- protects against infection
- required for
- adrenal gland function
- healthy teeth and gums
- tissue growth and repair
- strengthens blood vessel walls
Vitamin C Food Sources:
Asparagus, avocados, beet greens, berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, citrus fruits, collards, currants, dark green leafy vegetables, grapefruits, green peas, green peppers, kale, kiwi fruit, lemons, mangos, mustard greens, onions, oranges, papayas, parsley, persimmons, pineapple, potatoes, radishes, red bell peppers, red cabbage, rose hips, spinach, strawberries, sweet peppers, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip greens, and watercress.
Alfalfa, aloe vera, basil, burdock, cinnamon, coltsfoot, comfrey, dandelion, eyebright, fennel, hawthorn, kelp, mint, purslane, red raspberry, rhubarb, rosemary, shepherd's purse, stinging nettle, tea and thyme.
Signs of Deficiency
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include; anemia, bleeding gums, broken capillaries which cause pinpoint hemorrhages, bruising, impaired digestion, joint tenderness and swelling, loose teeth, loss of appetite, lowered resistance to infections, nosebleeds, poor wound healing, shortness of breath, skin disorders, and weakness.
Medical Uses of Vitamin C
Allergies, asthma, arteriosclerosis, bronchitis, bursitis, cancer, canker sores, cataracts, colds and flu, depression, diabetes, ear infections, gallstones, gingivitis, glaucoma, hemorrhoids, hypertension, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, macular degeneration , Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, ulcers, urinary tract infections and varicose veins.
Possible Side Effects And Warnings
Vitamin C is essentially nontoxic. Whatever the body can not use is excreted in the urine.
Vitamin C can interfere with blood tests for vitamin B12, so be sure to let your physician know if you are taking it.
At high doses (3,000 milligrams or more) some people experience diarrhea.
Diabetic and sulfa drugs may not be as effective when taken with vitamin C.
Aspirin, alcohol, analgesics, antidepressants, anticoagulants, oral contraceptives and steroids may reduce levels of vitamin C in the body.
Conditions that may increase one’s requirement include burns, congestive heart disease, diarrhea, infection, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma and surgery.