Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)12 years, 9 months ago
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Vitamin C is found in rose hips, citrus fruit and juices, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and raw vegetables such as red bell peppers. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by cooking and levels are reduced during storage. ROLE IN ANTI-AGING: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and protects against free radical cellular damage, therefore it may protect the body from many forms of cancer.
Vitamin C is found in rose hips, citrus fruit and juices, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and raw vegetables such as red bell peppers. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by cooking and levels are reduced during storage.
ROLE IN ANTI-AGING:
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and protects against free radical cellular damage, therefore it may protect the body from many forms of cancer. It is also vital for the formation and maintenance of collagen (the skin’s "cement"), for healthy skin, and for the formation of other structural materials in bones, teeth, and capillaries. Vitamin C assists with wound healing and burns, especially for those recovering from surgery, and helps to keep the nervous system functioning properly. It also increases the absorption of iron and calcium from plant sources, and heightens resistance to infection. Research has shown that vitamin C raises HDL (good) cholesterol, and prevents "bad" LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which subsequently prevents the build-up of atherosclerotic plaques on the blood vessel wall. It has also been shown to improve nitric oxide activity and reverse endothelial dysfunction (abnormal functioning of the cells that line blood vessels), which is linked to the development of atherosclerosis.
Thus, vitamin C may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease Large doses of the vitamin may help to relieve cold and flu symptoms. Some research has found that vitamin C may help to prevent male infertility. Vitamin C also protects against industrial pollutants, certain eye disorders, and bleeding gums. Some research suggests that vitamin C may help to prevent cataracts. Results of one study showed that women who took vitamin C supplements for at least 10 years were 77% less likely to develop "lens opacities" - the beginning stage of cataracts - than women who didn’t take supplementary vitamin C.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause the disease scurvy, however this is uncommon on developed countries. Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include: bruising easily, bleeding gums, tooth decay, nose bleeds, swollen or painful joints, anemia, poor wound healing, lowered resistance to infection, general weakening of connective tissue, easily fractured bones, weakened arteries which rupture or hemorrhage, extreme muscle weakness, painful joints, wounds and sores that will not heal.
THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:
1,000-2,000mg depending on your need. RDA is 90mg for men and 75mg for women. Research suggests that vitamin C may enhance the effects of some chemotherapy drugs, however cancer patients should always consult their oncologist before taking dietary supplements.
MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:
2000mg (long-term); 3000mg (short-term) Note: Research has found that blood levels of vitamin do not increase further when vitamin C doses exceed 250-500 mg per day. High doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones in people with a history of the condition and those who regularly undergo hemodialysis.
No side effects are associated with vitamin C, however large doses of the vitamin can deplete the body’s supplies of the essential nutrient copper. People with a glucose-6- phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, iron overload (hemosiderosis or hemochromatosis), history of kidney stones, or kidney failure should consult their doctor before taking supplementary vitamin C.
Women taking the contraceptive pill should not take excessively large doses of vitamin C as it may reduce the effectiveness of the pill. People taking ampicillin, indomethacin, salsalate, or tetracycline should not take supplementary vitamin C without consulting their doctor.