Vitamin C is an antioxidant responsible for more than 300 metabolic functions in the body, but it cannot be manufactured by the body. It needs to be obtained from the diet or supplement.
Avocados, cantaloupe, black currants, beet greens, dandelion greens, collards, Brussel sprouts, grapefruit, dulse, kale, lemons, mangos, mustard greens, onions, oranges, papayas, sweet peppers, persimmons, pineapple, radishes, rosehips, spinach strawberries, turnip greens and watercress are good sources of vitamin C.
Plenty of herbs contain vitamin C as well, such as alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chickweed, fennel seed, eyebright, fenugreek, horsetail, kelp, peppermint, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, pine needle, plantain, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, skullcap, and yellow dock.
Vitamin C has many functions in the body. It is essential in the cholesterol metabolism, the formation of teeth, ligaments, blood cells, and body tissues. It is involved in the assimilation of iron, maintenance of vision, and in cell respiration. It has also been confirmed in studies that vitamin C has the capability to eliminate lead and other poisons from the body. It is a great detoxifier, and it can even be used as an aid in neutralizing a black widow bite. It is in included in our first aid kit.
Studies have shown that vitamin C can reduce symptoms of asthma. It also acts as a natural anti-histamine for allergies. Vitamin C promotes healing, build healthy ligaments and connective tissues, and aids in the prevention of bruising.
Wound healing is faster because when Vitamin C is added to cultured human skin fibroblasts, the collagen synthesis increases eight times. Due to its healing effect every sport injury greatly benefits from high doses of vitamin C.
The body has a need to replace collagen due to all wear and tear we expose the body to. The wear and tear is higher in long distance runners, running athlete, weight training, and hill sprinting as well as many other activities. Vitamin C helps build collagen for healthy ligaments and connective tissues.
Dr. B. Sokoloff showed in a study sponsored by the American Heart Association, that triglyceride levels in the blood could be reduced by 50-70% by taking two-three grams a day.
Matthias Rath, M.D, in his book "Why Animals Don't Get Heart Attacks..But People do", states that the ability to increase the production of collagen elastin and other reinforcement molecules is the most important function of vitamin C in preventing strokes and heart attacks. He also says that atherosclerosis is an early form of scurvy. The depletion of vitamin C leads to a gradual breakdown of the body's connective tissues, including the blood vessels. Sufficient amount of vitamin C in the body on the other hand leads to optimum production and function of collagen molecules. When the blood vessels walls are stable atherosclerotic deposits do not develop.
As we seen vitamin C is a very useful antioxidant with many uses. It enhances the immunity as well as aids in the production of anti-stress hormones. It promotes healing of wounds and burns, protect against abnormal blood clotting and bruising. It also counteract free radical damage.
So, how much is recommended per day? Well, it all depends who's recommendation you follow. The RDI for nutrients are barely a maintenance dose and doesn't provide sufficient amount of nutrients that we need. Factors such as medications, especially analgesics, antidepressants, anti-coagulants, oral contraceptives, and steroids that may reduce levels of vitamin C are not being considered . Smoking also depletes the levels of vitamin C.
Here is a chart from the Vitamin C foundation and as you can see the RDI recommended by the government is way low compared to what should be taken for optimal health. You can also see that Linus Pauling, the Nobel Price winner and well known experts in vitamin C recommended a higher amount as well.
60-95 mg U.S. Recommended Intake
200 mg Levin/NIH Recommendation
400 mg (recently increased) Current Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation
2500 mg Hickey/Roberts minimum
3000 mg Foundation's daily recommendation
6000-12000 mg Levy's daily recommendation
6000-18000 mg Linus Pauling's daily recommendation
6000-9000 mg Pregnancy
6000-18000 mg Heart Disease
14000-30000 mg Cancer
20000-300000 mg Cathcart/Levy Cure for Infectious Diseases
We like to use vitamin C in a non acidic powdered form and we add calcium ascorbates to our shakes. In our quest for optimum health my husband and I try to find supplements, foods, and herbs that provide as powerful nourishment as possible to a reasonable price. We believe vitamin C is one of those with amazing properties.
Check out Linus Pauling Institute for more information about studies of vitamin C for conditions like stroke, lead toxicity, gout, cataracts, cancer, coronary heart disease, immunity, and diabetes.
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