Vitamin C is an amazing nutrient that has had over 10,000 published scientific studies demonstrating its involvement in every process of the human body and giving evidence that it just may be the holy grail for longevity. It helps the growth and repair of wounds, grows bones and teeth, repairs tendons, ligaments, and even blood vessels. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects DNA from being damaged, which reduces the effects of aging and boosts the body’s power to prevent arthritis, heart disease, stroke and cancer. It is a natural antihistamine, reducing allergic reactions and helping the detoxification of the immune system. It is so powerful that in one study done at UCLA supplementing with Vitamin C on a daily basis lead participants to live 6 years longer!
Humans are one of the few mammals on the planet that don’t produce their own vitamin C and require a direct intake from food or supplements. Vitamin C is quickly absorbed and excreted in the body, making daily consumption necessary; however, the exact amount to take appears controversial. It is known that consuming less than 45mgs a day can cause a disease called Scurvy, where the body’s immune system becomes weakened resulting in poor skin and bone health possibly leading to neuropathy, jaundice, convulsions and even death. This understanding has lead the World Health Organization to set their standard intake at 45mgs a day, Health Canada at 90mgs a day, and the FDA at 70mgs a day. Interestingly, the scientists that have done the research on Vitamin C use between 120mgs and 2000mgs and some Dr’s that have helped heal patients of cancer megadose up to 75,000mgs intravenously. The bottom line is that while a daily Vitamin C intake of 45mgs may prevent Scurvy, a dose as high as 1000mgs may be required to keep the body healthy and even higher amounts may be required if the body is fighting diseases such as cancer or coronary disease.
Deciding your personal Vitamin C intake may be tricky but one good tool to discover your necessary intake may be to monitor yourself for diarrhea. Orally consuming Vitamin C in dosages the body cannot absorb results in diarrhea, but expect that amount to change based on the changes in your health level. The best approach may be to eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables a day alongside a Vitamin C supplement. Some of the highest natural food sources are broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens, kiwis, oranges, papayas and bell peppers. In choosing a Vitamin C supplement, choose one that contains calcium ascorbate and citrus bioflavinoids, as they have been found to be most absorbable forms.
Clearly Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and keeping levels high just may lock you down for a life of longevity.
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