Are Vitamin C Benefits
Only for Colds?
If "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", can vitamin C benefits keep a cold at bay? After all, we've all heard about the amazing cold and flu benefits of vitamin C supplements... championed first by Dr. Linus Pauling, elite 2 time Nobel Prize recipient.
But what additional vitamin C benefits can you enjoy? You might be surprised to learn, quite a bit! As it turns out, you can experience a wide array of life-rewarding benefits with vitamin C. Here are just a few...
Vitamin C Benefits
Helps Reduce "Free Radical Damage" Now Strongly Linked to Diseases Like Cancer, Heart Disease and Arthritis
Stimulates Your Immune System and Increases Resistance to Infection
Vital to the Structural Integrity of Skin, Bone and Teeth
Improves Utilization of Food for Conversion Into Energy
How can a simple vitamin do so much?
All these molecular activities of vitamin C are united by a common theme... electron transport. Its a fact, the donation and transport of electrons to other molecules is the essential basis all vitamin C benefits. For example, here is how the electron transport capability of vitamin C can keep you disease free...
"Distance from Disease"
The Antioxidant Activity of Vitamin C
Vitamin C benefits and protects every cell of your body from the damaging assault of free radicals... unstable, destructive molecules with 1 or more unpaired electrons buzzing around in their outer atomic orbital. Molecules with unpaired electrons (free radicals) are highly
reactive and seek stability by snatching electrons... any nearby molecule will do, proteins, DNA, fat - you name it!
If this destructive electron-snatching process called "oxidation" is not stopped, a wild, runaway chain reaction of electron-snatching takes place in your body... ultimately destroying biological tissues and causing disease. This is where vitamin C benefits you in a major way...
Vitamin C, as the major "water soluble" vitamin resides within all watery or "aqueous" domains of your body. That includes the intracellular regions of all cells, interstitial fluid (watery domain between cells) and plasma portions of the blood. Within these watery domains, C intercepts and neutralizes free radicals by donating its own electrons to the electron-starved free radical. And what does that accomplish?
It stops destructive chain reactions dead in their tracks! Vitamin C is a free radical trap, donating its own electrons to destructive free radicals, instead of allowing free radicals to snatch electrons from your own proteins, DNA and lipids.
Are you beginning to understand how important vitamin C benefits and other antioxidant nutrients are to your body?
Good! Lets take a quick look at the biological nature of vitamin C.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is a 6 carbon compound similar in structure to the sugar, glucose. Through successive donations of 2 electrons, ascorbic acid becomes denatured to an inactive form called "dehydroascorbic acid".
Only humans and a few other species lack the enzyme necessary to synthesize vitamin C. We must therefore obtain our vitamin C needs by diet. But be aware, the vitamin C you receive from dietary sources can vary wildly. Here is why...
Are You Receiving
Optimal Vitamin C Benefits
From Your Diet?
Natural vitamin C levels within fruits and vegetables decrease during storage. Oxygen irreversibly denatures ascorbic acid to its inactive form, dehydroascorbic acid. Therefore, depending on length of time, normal aerobic warehouse storage of fruits and vegetables may result in considerable vitamin losses. Warm conditions or heat accelerate this process, causing additional losses during storage. Even certain enzymes within the original plant tissue called "oxidases" can destroy biological activity of this vitamin.
You can maximize your vitamin C benefits by using fresh fruits and vegetables. Since the storage history of produce purchased at supermarkets varies wildly, dramatic variations in vitamin content within fruits and vegetables are common. Heat also deactivates the vitamin, therefore quick heating methods like pressure cookers and microwaves minimize vitamin C losses.
Safeguard Your Health
In conjunction with a healthy diet, vitamin and mineral supplements containing vitamin C can be excellent way to attain maximum vitamin C benefits. Aside from acting as a excellent "health insurance" policy ensuring you meet your basic vitamin C needs, vitamin and mineral supplements can offer vitamin C at optimal levels, helping your body function at its highest natural levels.
Experience Heart Healthy
Vitamin C Benefits
Today there is tremendous interest in the "cardioprotective" or heart healthy vitamin C benefits. Is there any evidential basis to these claims? The answer may surprise you!
Current medical management of cardiovascular health includes recommendations to lower dietary intake of saturated fats, increase intake of fruits, vegetables and reduce levels of blood cholesterol. Wise recommendations. But more precisely, high blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), you're "bad" cholesterol is also associated with poor heart health. Are you ready for the reason?
"Oxidation of low density lipoprotein by free radicals is now strongly linked to the initial stages atherogenesis, or the "hardening" of arteries."
Here is why...
LDL particles circulating in your blood are rich sources of cholesterol and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS), prime targets of free radical attacks. And if LDL becomes oxidized by destructive free radicals, it stimulates the recruitment of immune cells called, monocytes and macrophages which engulf the oxidized LDL particles to form lipid containing "foam cells". And foam cells are the silent fingerprints leading to atherogenesis and heart disease.
Protect Yourself from Atherogenesis or
"Hardening of the Arteries"
Vitamin C Benefits Your Heart!
According to this emerging view, atherogenesis can be reduced by protecting the LDL particle from oxidative attack of free radicals. And vitamin C is the most effective water soluble antioxidant vitamin found within the body - as such, its the first line of defense against free radicals within the aqueous regions of the body, including the outer layer of LDL particles.
In fact, LDL particles tested in the laboratory can be protected from oxidative destruction when vitamin C is administered.
Vitamin C Benefits Inhibit Oxidation of LDL
Journal of Atherosclerosis
And relatively high doses of vitamin C or E taken orally can prevent or retard oxidative modification of LDL within your body.
Journal of Atherosclerosis
Complete protection of LDL particles appears to involve a powerful synergy between vitamin c and vitamin e. As the major fat soluble vitamin of the body, vitamin e benefits and protects the fatty or lipid interior of the LDL particle. In fact, antioxidant efficacy of vitamin E appears to be dependent upon the presence of vitamin C. This is because vitamin C "recharges" vitamin E by, once again, donating electrons!
The lesson here?
Antioxidant protection of LDL now appears to be a vital component of heart health. And vitamin C and E work together as a team protecting LDL, in doses higher than normally achieved through dietary intake alone. In fact, vitamin C and E are part of a much larger natural biological antioxidant defense system involving additional vitamins and minerals - like vitamin A, caratenoids, selinium and iron
For the highest level of antioxidant protection, consider a properly balanced, full spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement that provides complete antioxidant protection.
Is Your Immune System Healthy?
Do You Get Sick Often?
Vitamin C Benefits Your Immune System
Normally, we don't think twice about our immune system. The immune process is such an efficient killing system, we often experience months, even years, free of infectious disease, unaware thousands of pathogenic microbes are efficiently destroyed every day. Among other anti-oxidant micronutrients, you can thank vitamin C benefits here too. Here is why...
Occasionally we get ill and your body mounts a vigorous counterattack called the "inflammatory response" Highly specialized immune cells, neutrophils and macrophages ingest and obliterate the bacterium by releasing large amounts O2 and hydrogen peroxide in a process called the "respiratory burst" Thats the upside. Are you ready for the downside?
Superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide produced by the respiratory burst are potent free radical generating species. If their release is not tightly controlled, these reactive species of oxygen (ROS) actually contribute to the genesis of disease. Thats because, in addition to killing pathogens, ROS can initiate free radical attacks and destroy your very own immune cells and other healthy tissue!
Protect Yourself From Free Radicals
Your Antioxidant Status is Vital!
As a biological antioxidant, ascorbic acid and other antioxidants protect immune cells and other healthy tissue from damaging free radicals generated during the respiratory burst. In fact, vitamin C benefits and also stimulates immune function, increasing resistance to infection. Here is how...
Protects healthy tissue From Respiratory Burst of the Inflammatory Response
Increases production of Interferons, the proteins protecting you from viruses
Associated with Enhanced Natural Killer Cell Activity
Stimulates Proliferative Response of neutrophils and lymphocytes
Increases Synthesis of Antibodies of IgG and IgM classes
These activities are very likely the basis of vitamin Cs widely acclaimed reputation for reducing severity and duration of colds..
How are Your Energy Levels?
Energy Metabolism and Vitamin C Benefits
The conversion of food into energy for everyday activities like walking, running, even sleeping requires the breakdown of carbohydrates and long chain fatty acids into simple subunits. This takes place in the "powerhouse of the cell", the mitochondria. But fatty acids must first be transferred into the mitochondria for energy conversion by a molecule called "carnitine" And this is where vitamin C benefits enter the picture...
Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of carnitine by, once again, yes you guessed it... electron transport! - specifically providing electrons to maintain iron in the proper oxidative state for two enzymes to function properly.
In fact, vitamin C deficiency "downregulates" or slows down the synthesis of carnitine. And if you lack sufficient carnitine to transfer fatty acids into the mitochondria for conversion into energy, there are a couple of undesirable consequences:
1) Fatty acids build-up in your bloodstream and contribute to unhealthy triglyceride levels (hypertriglycemia)
2) You may tire-out more easily or experience low energy levels - fatigue and lassitude are a direct consequence of poor energy conversion
Interested in Healthy
Skin, Bones and Arteries?
Consider Vitamin C Benefits!
Collagen synthesis is one of the more well known functions of vitamin C. Collagen is the fibrous structural protein composing connective tissue... the tissue that forms the matrix upon which bones and teeth form, the tissue with which open wounds are "cemented" back together and the tissue literally holding all of the cells of your body together! And collagen must expand and contract within the artery wall with each beat of your heart
Structural integrity of healthy collagen depend upon strong molecular crosslinks that help bind the individual fibrils together. But a precise chain of events must take place before individual crosslinking can occur...
As a prerequisite, an enzyme vital to crosslinking utilizes the mineral iron as a "cofactor". Once again, ascorbic acid, in its universal role of electron transport and donation, protects iron from harmful oxidation by donating electrons. This maintains iron with its proper electrical charge, allowing iron to perform its essential role as an enzymatic cofactor vital to the structural integrity of collagen. How important is this chain of events? Good question!
Break the chain at any point and you risk serious consequences...
For example, most quick acting, single vitamin classical deficiency diseases like scurvy result from severe deficiency of a single vitamin like vitamin C. Since we now understand vitamin C supports healthy collagen synthesis, its no surprise severe deficiency of C weakens bone, cartilage and teeth, produces hemorrhage the in skin, mucous membranes, internal organs and musculature. Of course in western civilization today, not too many of us worry about scurvy!
The Real Threat to Your Health Today...
Long-term, Suboptimal Intake of
Vitamins like Vitamin C
In sharp contrast, today the explosion of crippling and killer diseases, now pandemic in our society, are strongly linked to long-term, suboptimal intake of many different key vitamins like C, E, D etc. In fact, suboptimal intake of multiple key nutrients is very common in the general population and produce many of the long term latency diseases we dread like heart disease, cancers, osteoporosis and arthritis. These are the real threats to your good health today.
Why risk your health to these completely avoidable conditions? Chronic degenerative diseases are incredible drains on your life and resources. Aside from the heartache and grief, medical management of chronic degenerative conditions is costly. Today there is just no reason to victimized by poor nutritional status. Consider vitamin C benefits! A complete, full spectrum nutritional supplement, including optimal levels of C for maximum vitamin C benefits, may be just the safety net you need.