Of all the vitamins on the market, Vitamin C may be the most familiar one. Many of us run to the store to grab a bottle of this supplement when we come down with a cold. Or, we increase our consumption of orange juice, knowing that it has high levels of this vitamin. However, Vitamin C has more benefits than just speeding up the time of your virus, and is also more or less effective depending on how it is consumed. Therefore, Dr. Willard’s® is going to provide all you need to know about Vitamin C in this article.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, controls how parts of our body work and develop. It plays a central role in the production of blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, skin, cartilage, bones and teeth, according to The National Library of Medicine (NLM). It also helps our wounds and cuts heal, and aids in the formation of scar tissue. Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that attacks free radicals from food and radiation that get us sick and make us age. Interestingly enough, animals make their own ascorbic acid, while humans need to get it through diet and supplements. You can get the nutrients from this vitamin through diet, which is the best way, or through supplements.
What Foods Contain Vitamin C?
It is important to remember that the best sources come from fresh and raw fruits and vegetables. For example, many people believe that they can pick up a carton of orange juice at the supermarket, and they will get their daily dose, but that is not so. WebMD explains that: “fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh-frozen concentrate is a better pick than ready-to-drink orange juice.”” It is best to consume fruits and vegetables in an uncooked state; if necessary, steaming is the best way to keep the most amount of nutrients. NLM provides a list of foods that contain ascorbic acid:
- Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
- Kiwi fruit
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
- Green and red peppers
- Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
- Sweet and white potatoes
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Winter squash
What are the Benefits of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C has been shown to prevent:
- Cardiovascular Disease - Life Extension Magazine reports new findings that Vitamin C plays a huge role in cardiovascular health. The article claims that ascorbic acid may remove plaque from LDL, or the bad, cholesterol that our body stores, can help protect heart arteries from damage by keeping them flexible, and possibly regulate blood pressure.
- Cold – Many studies have gone to refute what Vitamin C is best known for, which is curing the common cold. No major research studies have been able to find evidence that ascorbic acid will actually cure a cold. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM) does report on a few findings that individuals who take higher doses of the vitamin regularly (every day) usually experience shorter colds by about one day. Vitamin C did show greater chances of cold prevention for athletes who exercised in harsh weather, such as skiers.
- Arthritis – Scientists believe that arthritis is caused by free radicals that damage collagen, which can lead to the disintegration of cartilage, as seen in those affected by arthritis. Some findings have shown that a diet high in Vitamin C will prevent arthritis.
- Blindness – Macular degeneration (AMD) is the number one ailment to lead to blindness people 55 and older. Those who suffer from AMD experience having their macula, the part responsible for central vision, attacked. Central vision is what allows us to do basic things, like read and drive. With AMD, people lose their central vision with age, but retain their peripheral vision, which allows vision from the side. According to UMM, Vitamin C, along with beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and high levels of Zinc can help with AMD.
How Do I Take Vitamin C?
Most people in the United States who eat a healthy diet filled with fruit and vegetables likely get enough Vitamin C. If you believe that you can have a deficiency, you can ask your physician to do lab work to test your levels. Should you choose to take Vitamin C as a supplement, it is available as powder or as chewable or non-chewable tablets. Because Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient, meaning that it is not stored by the body, but released through the urine, overdoses are not typical. However, too much ascorbic acid can lead to stomach issues, such as diarrhea. Refer to these dosage instructions provided by NLM:
- 0 – 6 months: 40* milligrams/day (mg/day)
- 7 – 12 months: 50* mg/day
*Adequate Intake (AI)
- 1 – 3 years: 15 mg/day
- 4 – 8 years: 25 mg/day
- 9 – 13 years: 45 mg/day
- Girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg/day
- Pregnant teens: 80 mg/day
- Breastfeeding teens: 115 mg/day
- Boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg/day
- Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
- Women age 19 year and older: 75 mg/day
- Pregnant women: 85 mg/day
- Breastfeeding women: 120 mg/day
In addition to proper dosage, to maximize the chances of this water-soluble nutrient to get absorbed into our bodies, it is recommended to take Vitamin C with food to increase absorption and bioavailability. Bioavailability is a percentage that signifies how much of the actual nutrient enters the bloodstream to then work properly. For example, National Institutes of Health, as reported by LivOn Labs found that only 200 mg of Vitamin C was the maximum absorbed, with the rest simply excreted through the urine.
To help with bioavailability, or the degree to which the nutrients get absorbed and utilized in our circulation, you should add Willard Water® to your daily diet. Studies consistently show that drinking Willard Water® helps with vitamin absorption and utilization. Furthermore, a recent cellular study conducted on human subjects found that Willard Water® was especially effective in increasing absorption, and reducing expulsion through urine and feces, of Vitamin C in subjects taking Vitamin C supplements. The patented micelle catalyst in Willard Water® has also been found to aid in the breakdown of particles, which encourages better free radical scavenging and promotes absorbability.