I’m a huge fan of Vitamin C and I say: Taking your C’s is one of the best health habits to develop. Vitamin C is as integral to your body chemistry as other vitamins are, but this vitamin stands out as really important in many ways.
Vitamin C is a water soluble organic compound. The human body neither stores this vitamin nor manufactures it. This is why it is vital that we replenish our Vitamin C everyday by supplementing or eating food rich in this nutrient.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid and L-ascorbate, is crucial in the following health areas:
Collagen is a very important protein that makes up the fibrous tissues in blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, corneas, and bones, to name a few. Without collagen, the human body just falls apart, a kind of deterioration known as scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease common centuries ago to mariners who often had to go for months in the high seas without access to fruits and vegetables. Scurvy stems from the failure of the body to manufacture collagen because of a Vitamin C deficiency.
When a person is afflicted with scurvy, he has very little fibrous tissue to stop his tendons and joints from going loose; blood vessels from breaking and haemorrhaging; gums from bleeding; teeth from falling out; and his immune system from degrading. Eventually, the person dies because he does not have much tissue or collagen to hold him together. Thank goodness, scurvy is a rare affliction today; because in 1932, Vitamin C deficiency was discovered beyond doubt to be its cause. Today, we have access to a lot of food rich in this vitamin.
Oh, here’s a great tip: If you’ve been hankering for more youthful looking skin, Vitamin C can be your best friend. Collagen and elastin are what support the skin from sags and wrinkles. So, for a collagen boost, beef up on the C to maintain or improve that youthful glow.
Vitamin C is also important for healing wounds. Studies have proven that taking the C in mega doses, way over the recommended daily intake (45 mg / day as per Australian standards), really speeds up recovery from surgery, ulcers, and other injuries. These quantities are anywhere from 500 mg to 3,000 mg per day.
People who take in an adequate amount of Cs actually have a power workhouse of an immune system. These people are less susceptible to colds and other respiratory illnesses. It is interesting to note that a new finding has revealed that Vitamin C can actually kill tuberculosis bacteria strains that have been resistant to drug treatments.
According to the World health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis is still massively lethal with a killing rate of about 1.4 million people in 2011. What’s so great about this new discovery is that people afflicted with TB in Third World countries can afford Vitamin C, which is widely available as well.
Because of its anti-histamine effects, Vitamin C can also help in preventing cancer. Histamine is a compound present in our blood and it is responsible for inflammations. Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of cancer. Vitamin C keeps histamine levels down and manages their release as well. By doing so, it assists in preventing cells from being chronically inflamed, a condition which can lead to malignant mutations later on.
Stress can be inevitable at the fast pace we live in and quite dangerous to our cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and therefore plays a huge role in preventive cellular damage. Stress can show on your skin, eyes, hair, and general well-being. It has also been known to cause cancer. By keeping your body’s adaptability to stress on a high, Vitamin C, among other nutrients, ferries out those free radicals that break us down and age us prematurely.
As an antioxidant, Vitamin C helps protect arteries from free radical damage as well as from plaque build up. People who don’t include enough Vitamin C in their diets often find themselves dealing with arteriosclerosis; heart attack; stroke; and least of all, high cholesterol.
Prevention against Macular Degeneration
There is such a thing as eyesight deterioration which often is a condition of aging. It is termed as macular degeneration and this can affect persons as young as 55. I am no spring chicken anymore so I am particularly careful of my eyes. There is no cure for this degenerative disease, but this gradual loss of vision can be prevented and even slowed down in cases if you just take the right amounts of certain nutrients every day. A study sponsored by the National Eye Institute in the U.S. found this combination to be very effective: Vitamin C 500 mg, Vitamin E 400 IU, lutein 10 mg, zeaxanthin 2 mg, zinc 25 mg, and copper.
A great many more benefits can be derived from this all-around vital nutrient, Vitamin C. Good dosages of Vitamin C can also help stave off diseases like anaemia and osteoporosis by optimally improving our capacities to absorb iron and calcium. The human body relies so heavily on this vitamin for our continued health and survival. No surprise then that Vitamin C is dubbed, the Wonder Vitamin. Don’t you think it is time to be more aware of how much Vitamin C you get every day?