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Facts About Vitamin C
Most people have heard of Scurvy. In fact, it was around the 1740s when doctor James Lind successfully treated 12 sick sailors with citrus fruits.
Instant coffee, vitamin C and washing soda can be used to develop black and white film.
Humans, primates and guinea pigs are the only mammals unable to produce their own vitamin C
Unfortunately, vitamin C doesn’t prevent a cold. However, if it’s taken before a cold, it can decrease the length and severity of it.
It only stays in your system for 24 hours because it is water-soluble.
Smoking destroys vitamin C in your body.
It is not just citrus fruits that are good sources of this vitamin. Guava, blackcurrants, red and green peppers, kiwis, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and peas are even better sources.
10 Reasons for Why You Should Take Vitamin C.
1. It helps you to absorb iron. There is a type of iron called ‘nonheme’ which isn’t always absorbed well or not at all during digestion. Vitamin C increases absorption because it combines with the iron to form a more digestible compound. In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anaemia were given a vitamin C supplement. The researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anaemia.
2. Reduces the effect of ageing. This vitamin helps with collagen regeneration. When there is less collagen in your body, your bones and joints tend to rub together causing aches and pains.
3. Helps in healing. Before the invention of antibiotics, many doctors used the vitamin to help heal the sick. In the 1940s, Dr Frederick Klenner cured chickenpox, tetanus, mumps, measles and polio with vitamin C therapy. Also, the vitamin helps injuries and wounds to heal.
4. May help to prevent cancer. Studies have shown a link between cancer prevention and vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant. Therefore, it helps to reduce cell damage.
5. Aids in fat loss. This vitamin allows your body to use fat as fuel. It can help in reducing your appetite leading to weight and fat loss but, this is only the case over a while with regular use.
6. May help to manage high blood pressure. An analysis of 29 human studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement lowered blood pressure.
7. Helps to reduce your risk of heart disease. 9 studies with 293,172 participants showed that after 10 years, people who took at least 700mg of vitamin C daily, had a 25% lower risk of heart disease than those who did not take a supplement.
8. May help to prevent gout attacks. This vitamin may reduce uric acid levels in your blood. One study of 1,387 men found that those who consumed the most of the vitamin had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid than those who consumed the least.
9. Boosts your immune system. The vitamin helps encourage the production of white blood cells, lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect your body against infections. It also helps these cells function more effectively, while protecting them from damage by free radicals.
10. Protects your memory and thinking as you age. Studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower blood levels of this vitamin. Low levels of it have been linked to an impaired ability to think and remember.
So how much to take?
Well, this is an interesting question. Unfortunately, my research contradicts itself. According to the NHS in the UK, adults between the ages of 19 to 64 need 40mg a day. Not more than 1000mg.
However, other institutions recommend 90mg for men and 75mg for women.
You should be able to get the amount you need from your diet. However, as I wrote earlier, this vitamin is water-soluble and only stays in your system for 24 hours.
If you take too much, you could experience diarrhoea, nausea and heartburn. But it seems that you’d have to take silly amounts to get those symptoms.
If you decide you’d want to supplement your diet with this vitamin, then speak to your doctor. Especially, if you take blood clotting medications, NSAIDs, certain antidepressants and HRT because they shouldn’t be combined with high doses of it. It may decrease their effectiveness.
A few years ago, I had to be treated for gum disease. Maybe not having enough vitamin C could have been a contributing factor?
Sources: bodylogicmd.com, bbc.com, health.com, nhs.uk, softschools.com, hsph.harvard.edu, webmd.com, health line.com, livescience.com