When you think of vitamin C, you immediately think of how we’ve been taught that vitamin C combats illness, especially during cold and flu season. But did you know that vitamin C is also required by the body for at least 300 other metabolic functions and that your body cannot manufacture vitamin C? Kinda puts vitamin C in a whole new light, doesn’t it? You’d probably be surprised to learn that vitamin C plays an important role in stress reduction and that people who consume a lot of caffeine or large quantities of high fibre foods, or people on certain medications, need more vitamin C than others. Do you struggle with bleeding gums, periodontal disease and/or gingivitis? The introduction of vitamin C supplements may just be the answer because vitamin C fights the formation of plaque which is one of the main causes of periodontal disease. However, choose a vitamin C tablet that needs to be swallowed because chewable vitamins can be loaded with sugar. And you’ll want to take a dosage that’s a lot higher than the recommended dosage. Just make sure you check with your health care professional before taking any new supplement or increasing your dosage. Sometimes your bio-tolerance is not as high as others, or sometimes other prescription medications you’re taking might not be compatible to higher dosages of vitamin C. Nutter’s staff can recommend a dosage that’s right for your needs and that you can take back and discuss with your health care provider.
It was once thought that most of the vitamin C consumed was lost in the urine, although this idea is now being challenged due to recently recognized flaws in initial studies failing to take important variables into consideration in the original calculations. And thanks to recent studies by prestigious organizations such as the Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University, Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health, we now understand how vitamin C can react with, and neutralize, the toxic by-products of human fat metabolism; a previously unrecognized function of vitamin C in the human body. An adult’s daily recommended intake of vitamin C is roughly 82mg. What you should know now is that 20% of us are not getting our RDA of vitamin C, neither from the food we eat nor from supplements.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant; a nutrient that assists in chemical reactions in your body. In other words, it helps other nutrients work properly. For example, when working with vitamin E, these two vitamins have an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. For a complete explanation of antioxidants,CLICK HERE.
Do you bruise easily; do your gums bleed? This may come down to vascular integrity; in other words, how vulnerable are your veins? Vitamin C is necessary for tissue growth and repair so increasing the amount of vitamin C you get each day could help shore up your blood vessels and decrease the amount of bruising and bleeding that occurs. This involvement in tissue growth and repair also makes vitamin C important in the healing of wounds and burns. And another added bonus; vitamin C also helps protect against abnormal blood clotting.
Vitamin C is more plentiful in the adrenal glands than anywhere else in the body. A fact sheet from the Prince Henry Institute of Medical Research in Australia states that “Cortisol has diverse important effects on all parts of the body including mood and wellbeing, blood vessels and blood pressure, bones, muscles and skin, immune cells and inflammation, and stomach and bowel function. In stressful situations, cortisol maintains blood pressure and limits inappropriate inflammation.” However, the article goes on to state that the effects of excess cortisol, which include weight gain, suppressed immune function, high blood pressure and even diabetes become destructive rather than positive.
Where vitamin C comes in is that the adrenal glands use it in order to produce various hormones. Where vitamin C comes in is that the adrenal glands use it in order to produce various hormones.According to this technical monograph from Physician Formulated Rx Vitamins, “the adrenal cortex contains a large quantity of vitamin C. However these stores of vitamin C can be rapidly depleted during times of stress and when ACTH is released from the pituitary…marginal vitamin C deficiencies have been found to cause an elevation of cortisol levels. As previously mentioned chronic elevation of cortisol could lead to many detrimental health conditions. Vitamin C is vital for the synthesis of epinephrine from the amino acid tyrosine. Epinephrine is secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to a stressor. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for our “fight or flight” response to a stressful situation. Epinephrine also plays a role in blood pressure regulation by acting as part of an auxiliary electron transport system for the last step of aldosterone synthesis. Aldosterone is a hormone involved in regulating blood pressure, blood pH and blood volume. Supplementing with vitamin C while under stress has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects . “ 1
Vitamin C is necessary for the metabolism of folic acid and increases the absorption of iron. This is important to know because many of our common medications such as antacids, antibiotics, steroids and anti-histamines can interfere with iron absorption. In our diet, caffeine and high fibre foods can also interfere with iron absorption.
Here’s good news for people suffering with Alzheimer’s. Researchers at Lund University have discovered a new function for vitamin C. Treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease. The research findings are now being presented in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease contain lumps of so-called amyloid plaques which consist of misfolded protein aggregates. They cause nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attacked are the ones in the brain’s memory centre. “When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer’s disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved. Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques”, says Katrin Mani, reader in Molecular Medicine at Lund University. 2
Recently, a study was published that assessed the relationship between vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in almost 47,000 men. All the men had no history of gout when they entered the study. Their intakes of vitamin C (via diet and supplements) were assessed every 4 years over a 20-year period. Risk of gout was found to be lower in individuals with higher vitamin C intake. Compared to individuals with a total vitamin C intake of less than 250 mg per day, those with total intakes of 500 – 999 mg per day had a 17 percent reduced risk of gout. For intakes of 1,000 – 1,499 mg and 1,500 mg or more per day, the risk of getting gout decreased by 34 and 45 percent, respectively. 3
Here’s the disappointing news; your body cannot manufacture vitamin C. It must be obtained from your diet and supplementation. Most of us already know that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, but other sources include berries, green vegetables, cantaloupe, mustard and beet greens and tomatoes. For a more in-depth look at the vitamin C content of food,CLICK HERE.
Nutter’s Can Suggest…
Vitamin C is necessary for maintaining all collagen structures, promoting wound repair, strong bones and teeth, and healthy gums. As a powerful antioxidant, it protects the aqueous areas of the body (including the blood, intracellular fluid and interstitial fluid) from free radicals and the damage they cause. Vitamin C protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation and also helps to regenerate vitamin E. As a water-soluble vitamin, the body does not store vitamin C making regular supplementation vital.
Further Reading Suggestions:
“Discovery Shows New Vitamin C Health Benefits”
Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health
Oregon State University
1. Google Answers, with well-researched references.
2. Vitamin C shows promise against Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Vitamin C Helps Prevent Gout
Carol Roy is a Natural Health Practitioner who received her diploma from the Alternative Medicine College of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. With 12 years experience in her area of expertise, natural health and wellness, Carol has also trained to become a fully qualified Reiki Master, Quantum Touch Practitioner, and Reflexologist.
The suggestions by Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods and the contents of this article
are recommendations only and not a substitute for any medical advice or a
replacement for any prescriptions. Seek medical advice for any health concerns.
Consult your health care provider before using any recommendations herein.