Back to Basics: Vitamin C
A friend to all Ascorbic Acid, or ‘Good old vitamin C’ was first identified in 1928 by the Hungarian Biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi, who discovered the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle.
There are a lot of myths about Vitamin C, one of which is that our bodies can produce it but, this is not the case and so the only sources of Vitamin C are from our food or via supplementation. Some foods that are high in Vitamin C are Citrus fruits like Oranges, other fruits like Strawberries & Blackberries as well as Peppers, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Potatoes.
It’s rarely known that the body cannot store Vitamin C in the body either, so, you can never have too much in your body, because your body will remove any excess Vitamin C that is not required, via your normal digestion process. This means that even if you eat foods that are high in Vitamin C and you take a Vitamin C supplement, you will only absorb what your body needs, and not “overdose” on Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is involved in hundreds of processes throughout the body. It is key to the production of collagen – a key component to maintaining connective tissue, it is fundamental to the absorption of iron which helps to keep bones strong, and it has powerful antioxidant properties associated with anti-ageing, disease prevention and immune system strengthening.
A lack of Vitamin C also causes Scurvy, probably one of the most widely known conditions, which has a long association with pre-20th century mariners who experienced long periods at sea without any fresh fruit or vegetables. Unfortunately, Scurvy is also present in today’s society, both in developed and developing countries with people that have a poor diet.
Other conditions that can be affected by low levels of Vitamin C are low immune systems, certain eye health conditions like macular degeneration & cataracts as well as a low metabolism & low energy levels. So, ensuring you have the optimum level of Vitamin C is vitally important.
In fact, our in-house therapist swears by Vitamin C for low immune systems, particularly because it’s helped his elderly father (in his 90s) who has asthma and the serious breathing condition of COPD. They are both convinced that his father is still around today as a direct result of having high strength Vitamin C doses when he picks up a cold or virus, as it always reduces the length of time any infection takes to get better and it seems to complement any antibiotics that are prescribed by the GP.
Now, as we head into winter, with a new flu season about to start, could it be time to review your Vitamin C intake and think about a supplement as a preventative measure? It’s something we recommend for our staff but, we’ll leave it to you.