Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Benefits of Vitamin C

Ah, Vitamin C - one of the best, safest, and most effective nutrients for our bodies. It may not necessarily cure the common cold (though it does help), but it can prevent more serious maladies. Benefits of Vitamin C may include: protection against immune deficiencies, eye disease, prenatal problems - even skin wrinkling. Many researchers say that higher levels of Vitamin C in the blood are good nutrition markers for general health. It also aids in the health of our cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, and eyesight functions, as well as helps us live longer.

Vitamin C Helps - It’s a Fact

Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan, states that “the ideal dosage [of Vitamin C] may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance.” Moyad and his colleagues examined several studies, and most of them found that 500 daily milligrams of Vitamin C would, in fact, achieve health results - but that is much higher than the recommended daily allowance of 75 - 90 milligrams for adults. So, unless you, as an adult, eat a lot of fruits and veggies, you may need to take a Vitamin C supplement - Moyad recommends 500 milligrams per day, and additionally eating five servings of fruits and vegetables. He states, “"It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do.” Moyad also says that as few as 10% - 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of their fruits and vegetables each day.

However, there are cons (as well as pros) to taking a 500 milligram supplement - it may be a stomach irritant for some. Non-acidic supplements are best and are easy on your digestive tract. It’s even safe to take up to 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C/day, so the 500 mark allows plenty of leeway.

Where Can I Find My C?

Orange juice or even a half cup of red pepper can meet your daily allowance, but so can these other Vitamin-C packed fruits and vegetables:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Red cabbage
  • Green pepper
  • Tomato
  • Kiwi

Vitamin C: Helps To Fight Just About Everything

The other ways in which Vitamin C can aid in your health are plentiful. It’s a great stress reducer, for one - a recent study showed that Vitamin C helped individuals with weakened immune systems, due to stress. Vitamin C is actually the first nutrient to go in alcoholics, smokers, and obese people, so it’s a good overall health marker.

While we did state that Vitamin C isn’t a common cold cure, it does help fight it and prevent more serious issues and complications that come with being ill - it can reduce the risk of pneumonia and lung infections.

The research on the correlation of Vitamin C and how it may prevent strokes can conflict at times, but the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with the highest concentration of the nutrient in their blood were at 42% lower stroke risk than those with the smallest concentrations.

Vitamin C affects skin cells inside and outside of the body, so it only stands to reason that it fights skin aging. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40 - 74. The study found that more Vitamin C meant less wrinkles, dry skin, and a better skin appearance.

The Miracle Nutrient

These are but a few of the conditions, maladies, and benefits that Vitamin C protects, treats, and provides. There are so many other health issues that Vitamin C takes down or treats - like increasing sperm count in smokers or treating Parkinson’s disease - that it almost seems like a miracle vitamin. As science moves forward with innovation and technology, perhaps Vitamin C will be a miracle nutrient - and finally kill the common cold once and for all.

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