Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that maintains skin integrity, helps heal wounds and is important in immune functions. It also has antioxidant properties, helping to prevent cell damage by neutralizing “free radicals” — molecules believed to be associated with ageing and certain diseases. As a water-soluble vitamin, ascorbic acid performs its antioxidant functions within the aqueous compartments of the blood and inside cells and can help restore the antioxidant potential of vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant).
Vitamin C also functions as an essential cofactor for the enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen – the chief structural protein in connective tissues such as bones, cartilage and skin. As such, vitamin C is often recommended for wound healing and as an added ingredient in supplements designed for healthy skin.
As a preventive against infections such as influenza and other viruses, vitamin C is thought to strengthen the cell membranes, thereby preventing entrance of the virus to the interior of the cell. Support of immune cell function is also a key role performed by vitamin C and an effect which may help fight infections in their early stages. The combined effects of cellular strengthening, collagen synthesis and antioxidant protection are thought to account for the multi-faceted approach by which vitamin C helps to maintain health.
Vitamin C is important because:
- It’s essential for healthy teeth, gums & bones
- helps heal wounds, scar tissue, & fractures
- prevents scurvy
- builds resistance to infection
- aids in the prevention & treatment of the common cold
- gives strength to blood vessels
- aids in the absorption of iron
- It is required for the synthesis of collagen, the intercellular “cement” which holds tissues together.
- It is also one of the major antioxidant nutrients.
- It prevents the conversion of nitrates (from tobacco smoke, smog, bacon, lunch meats, & some vegetables) into cancer-causing substances.
- According to Dr. Linus Pauling, the foremost authority on Vitamin C and double Nobel Laureate, Vitamin C will decrease the risk of getting certain cancers by 75%
- I must say as an asthmatic, I don’t know what I’d do without vitamin C to keep my lungs completely clear. I take between 2g-10g a day of Ester C, and have for decades with amazing results.
Deficiency symptoms include:
- soft & bleeding gums
- swollen or painful joints
- slow-healing wounds & fractures
- bruising, nosebleeds
- tooth decay
- loss of appetite
- muscular weakness
- skin haemorrhages
- capillary weakness
- impaired digestion
- scurvy (which is sadly still alive and well today)
Vitamin C is one of those vitamins we just can’t do without because we cannot make it in our bodies – we must eat it daily. Take it in any form you like: Ester C (my favourite), ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate – or a dozen other forms, but whatever you do – take it, and take enough of it. See my Ester C here
Vitamin C plays diverse roles in health and disease prevention. It protects against Syndrome X, diabetes, and accompanying disorders in many different ways. It works most directly by blocking many of the deleterious effects of elevated glucose and insulin. This article looks particularly at its role in blood-sugar imbalance.
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C quenches free radicals (toxic bodily waste products) generated by glucose and other sources, such as immune cells. In doing so, it reduces the free- radical damage that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and other age-related degenerative diseases. One sign of severe vitamin C deficiency is a tendency toward bruising – common in diabetes – caused by collagen-weak blood-vessel walls leaking blood into surrounding tissues.
Vitamin C Improves Glucose Tolerance by:
- Lowering glucose
- Normalizing insulin’s response to glucose
- Neutralizing free radicals
Vitamin C’s Beneficial Effects on the Heart:
- Decreases total cholesterol
- Lowers the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol
- Raises the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol
- Enables blood vessels to relax
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Controls free-radical activity and damage
- Reduces the risk of blood clots
Vitamin C’s Beneficial Effects on Immunity:
- Boosts the activity of immune cells, so they do a better job of fighting bacteria and viruses
- Helps the body maintain homeostasis so infections are fewer and less severe
- Helps clean up excess free radicals, which strengthens the immune system
Symptoms of Blood Sugar Imbalance, possibly Diabetes:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing
- Tingling feeling
- Unexplained weight loss
Diabetic symptoms may vary from person to person. Type 1 Diabetes may also cause symptoms of nausea/vomiting while Type 2 Diabetics may show no symptoms at all for a long time. Suggested supplemental dosage of Vitamin C: 2000mg daily