Of all the vitamins available, Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is the most popular. Many of us have been told to take Vitamin C to fight against colds.
There are many other health benefits that can be obtained from taking Vitamin C regularly, perhaps more than previously thought. Many feel that there is little evidence to support these claims, but more and more studies have shown that many of these health benefits are real.
Staying healthy should be a priority to all of us. No one should become sick with something that is easily preventable. Adding more Vitamin C to your diet or taking a Vitamin C supplement, may work wonders on your health. High blood levels of this wonder vitamin may be the number one marker for overall health.
1. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. This is the reason why it is useful for treating cold symptoms. Additional Vitamin C may also shorten the duration of a cold, although there is little evidence that Vitamin C could prevent a cold altogether.
2. Since Vitamin C acts as an antihistamine, it also means that it helps to control allergy symptoms.
3. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production. This helps wounds, such as cuts, burns, broken bones, and surgical wounds, heal faster and better.
4. For the same reason, Vitamin C can be applied topically to the skin after sun exposure. This protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
5. Vitamin C helps with cancer prevention. It strengthens the body’s immune system, which is the first step to reducing the risk of cancer. It also has antioxidant properties which protect cells and DNA from damage and mutation. Although Vitamin C is ineffective against cancer that has already developed, a strengthened immune system is necessary for the body to fight. Taken as a preventative measure, Vitamin C reduces the risk of getting almost every kind of cancer.
6. As mentioned earlier, Vitamin C is an antioxidant. This helps to reduce free radicals that form in the eye as a result of sunlight. Regularly taking Vitamin C has been shown to not only prevent cataracts, but also to stop their progression, and even to help restore vision that has been lost.
7. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects artery walls from plaque formation, therefore lessening the risk of heart disease.
8. Vitamin C prevents cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood stream. Those taking Vitamin C have better blood cholesterol levels. This contributes to a healthier heart.
9. Vitamin C helps to lower high blood pressure, which results in numerous health benefits.
10. Asthmatics that take between 1,000 and 2,000 mg of Vitamin C per day have seen noticeable improvement in their condition. It lowers histamine production in the body which leads to inflammation, a root cause of asthma.
11. Vitamin C helps regulate blood sugar levels, making it ideal for persons with diabetes. Diabetics should take more Vitamin C, since their cells don’t absorb it as easily.
12. Vitamin C has been shown to help with periodontal disease.
13. It may help treat Parkinson’s disease.
14. Since it helps with the production of collagen, Vitamin C makes your skin healthier. This lowers the risk of wrinkles forming.
15. Vitamin C may reduce the effects of stress on the body.
16. Regularly taking Vitamin C apparently reduces the risk of stroke.
17. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C is helpful in combating arthritis. It appears to contribute to joint repair.
18. Vitamin C enhances the positive effects of exercise and helps with muscle stiffness afterward.
19. Vitamin C helps reduce the damage caused by smoking or exposure to second hand smoke by minimizing damage to DNA.
20. New evidence may show that Vitamin C can reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy and increase the antitumor activity of chemotherapy.
21. People that suffer from gastritis or stomach ulcers could benefit from Vitamin C. It can protect against the damage brought on by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. This is one reason so many suffer from these stomach problems.
22. One doctor claims that Vitamin C helps treats hepatitis, pneumonia, shingles, mononucleosis, encephalitis, heat stroke, snake and spider bites, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue among other things.
To see the best results, you should try to get your Vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables.
The recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables is difficult to work in to our busy schedules, however for most people, it is simply not practical. Many therefore choose to take vitamin supplements in order to make sure that they are getting the desired amount each day.
If you are interested in including more Vitamin C in your diet, try eating peaches, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, and strawberries. Papaya, kiwifruit, oranges, cantaloupe, mango, tomato juice, red cabbage and Brussels sprouts are also rich in Vitamin C. Remember, though, that cooking tends to lower the Vitamin C content, so try to eat them raw when possible.
Taking Vitamin C in excess may lead to diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. A person taking Vitamin C should not exceed the recommended upper limit of 2,000 mg per day. Still, vitamin C supplements are considered very safe and effective.
Vitamin supplements are widely available. Some claim that the quality contributes to the effectiveness and the absorption by the body. The body apparently does not absorb more than what is needed at the moment, so taking it in extremely large amounts may not do much good. Still, there is much debate as to how much should be taken to maximize benefits.
In this article we have seen that taking Vitamin C has many positive effects on our overall health. There are very few, if any, negative effects from taking it. Because of this, Vitamin C has many faithful followers who take their daily dose of Vitamin C for good health. Considering the many benefits that this important nutrient offers, many have been persuaded to include more in their diet and to take a daily supplement.