It’s as easy as it sound: Vitamin C is the most substantial antioxidant in our body.
You need vitamin C on the battlefield as your defense from free radicals (unstable molecules that damages your cells). The first line of duty for vitamin C is to capture the free radicals and neutralize them before they start doing damage to your cells.
There are other vitamins and minerals in your body that deals with free radicals besides vitamin C. But what makes the C vitamin so crucial? Well to start out, it can be found all over your body—in your red blood cells and outside of the cells—because it is a water-soluble vitamin. The damaging free radicals are also found everywhere in your body, so vitamin C is always on the spot to track them down. Secondly, there are other vitamins such as vitamin E and superoxide dismutase (SOD) that needs vitamin C to function properly.
Vitamin C is also needed to make enzymes that help remove poisons such as lead and pollutants from the air in your body. In our society nowadays, you know how difficult it is to avoid environmental pollutants. The faster the poisons are kicked out of our bodies, the less damage that occurs. Your best defense would be a high dose of vitamin C.
Vitamin C and heart disease
According to some studies done from the National Center for Health Statistics, if an extra 500 milligram of vitamin C was consumed by every adult in the U.S per day, 150,000 of them would not be dying from heart disease every year. Not only would these people still be here, but they also wouldn’t cost the healthcare industry billions of dollars year round.
Another study published in 2001 in the British medical journal Lancet demonstrated that a diet that is high in vitamin C decreased the overall risk of death, especially from stroke and disease of the heart. The study showed that even a small increase of the vitamin from our meals led to a decreased risk of death. Consuming an extra serving of fruits and vegetables a day was affiliated with a 20% lower risk. In general, the people with the highest amount of vitamin C in their blood had ? the risk of death compared to those with the lowest levels.
In 2003, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who consumed 360 milligram of vitamin C from supplementation or through their diets decreased their risk of heart disease by 30%. What’s also compelling about the study is that the effect was seen most in women who used supplements in addition to their diets.
Vitamin C and cholesterol
Analysis shows that people with high levels of vitamin C in their body have a lower cholesterol level. They also had a lower level of the “bad” cholesterol known as LDL and a higher of the “good” one, HDL. Now can you completely lower your total cholesterol levels with Vitamin C? It all depends. If you initially have a low level of vitamin C, then raising it may have a positive impact in your cholesterol levels as well as increase your HDL levels. If your levels were high to begin with, then raising it may not have much of impact (although it definitely would not hurt).
If your cholesterol is borderline high, then supplementing with vitamin C, along with a diet that’s low in fat, weight loss, and exercise may bring it down a little. If your cholesterol is above 240 mg/dl and you are already on statin drugs, it will be best to talk to your doctor first before taking extra vitamin C.
Vitamin C and blood pressure
If your blood pressure is above 140/90 then you have a huge risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. There have been many studies done that shows that shows that people who increased their consumption of vitamin C had blood pressure readings lower than those who didn’t. The difference is about 5 points in the diastolic reading. Taking at least 500 milligram of vitamin C a day can decrease blood pressure by more than 9%. It all goes back to show why people with higher levels of vitamin C in their system live longer than those with low levels.
Improving your immune system
Your immune system shields you against infectious invasions. To do that, it creates many different white blood cells and chemical messengers that authorize the white cells on where to go and what to do. The body will contain about one trillion cells in a healthy body. If you are sick, 100 million more are produced every hour to fight off diseases and they need all of the help from vitamin C. More research still needs to be done to determine if vitamin C can prevent you from getting sick although we do know that it can help you get better faster. So if you are sick or have the common cold, it would really benefit your immune system if you took extra vitamin C.
Diabetes and vitamin C
It has been shown that people with diabetes, especially those with type 2, have very low levels of vitamin C in their body. These same people also often times have gum disease, slow healing of wound, reoccurring infections, and problems with their blood vessels. If you have diabetes, adding more vitamin C to your diet can help you cope with the disease.
The pancreas in your body makes a hormone called insulin which transports glucose into your cells that get used up for energy. This hormone also carries vitamin C into your cells. Those with type 2 diabetes, nevertheless, are resistant to their own insulin. Not much insulin will enter their cells and the same goes for vitamin C. Diabetics need to consume vitamin C above the RDA amount to ensure enough reaches their cells. If you are diabetic, your physician will most likely recommend that you take 500 or 1,000 milligrams a day of extra vitamin C. Some people report that along with other complications, their circulatory problems improve when they take in high doses of vitamin C. It has also been shown that an excess of vitamin C can help prevent diabetic cataracts.