Many of us have heard about the importance of vitamin C, yet we sometimes forget and need a reminder of the many benefits of this all important vitamin. With that said, I’ve gathered some information from the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). Because this vitamin is so important to your health, I’ve left the majority of the site’s content intact, and I give UMM full credit for this information.
“Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn’t store it. You get what we need, instead, from food. You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein in skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which occur naturally when our bodies transform food into energy. The build-up of free radicals over time may be largely responsible for the aging process and can contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
Some evidence suggests that many people may be mildly deficient in vitamin C, although serious deficiencies are rare in industrialized countries. Smoking cigarettes lowers the amount of vitamin C in the body, so smokers are more at risk of deficiency. Signs of vitamin deficiency include dry and splitting hair; gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate, easy bruising; nosebleed; and a decreased ability to ward off infection. A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy.
Low levels of vitamin C have been associated with a number of conditions, including high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, stroke, some cancers, and atherosclerosis (the build-of plaque in blood vessels that can lead to heart attack and stroke). Getting enough vitamin C from your diet (by eating lots of fruit and vegetables) may help reduce the risk of developing some of these conditions. The evidence that taking vitamin C supplements will help or prevent any of these conditions is lacking, however.
Results of scientific studies on whether vitamin C is helpful for preventing heart attack or stroke are mixed. Vitamin C doesn’t lower cholesterol levels or reduce the overall risk of heart attack, but some evidence suggests that it may help protect arteries against damage.
Some studies — though not all — suggest that vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It helps prevent damage to LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which then builds up as plaque in the arteries and can cause heart attack or stroke. Other studies suggest that vitamin C may help keep arteries flexible.
In addition, people who have low levels of vitamin C may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease, all potential results of having atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease is the term used to describe atherosclerosis of the blood vessels to the legs. This can lead to pain when walking, known as intermittent claudication. But there is no evidence that taking vitamin C supplements will help.
The best thing to do is get enough vitamin C through your diet. That way, you also get the benefit of other antioxidants and nutrients contained in food. If you have low levels of vitamin C and have trouble getting enough through the foods you eat, ask your doctor about taking a supplement.
Vitamin C (500 mg) appears to work with other antioxidants, including zinc (80 mg), beta-carotene (15 mg), and vitamin E (400 IU) to protect the eyes against developing macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 in the United States. The people who seem to benefit are those with advanced AMD. It isn’t known whether this combination of nutrients helps prevent AMD or is beneficial for people with less advanced AMD.
Some excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, green peppers, watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with vitamin C. Raw and cooked leafy greens (turnip greens, spinach), red and green peppers, canned and fresh tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapple are also rich sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, air, and heat, so you’ll get the most vitamin C if you eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked.” 
Since vitamin c is so important to your health, and it’s so sensitive to light, air, and heat, I believe you should take a daily supplement to make sure you get enough of this essential vitamin. This is my choice for a healthier body, and I’m not alone!
Many nutritionists and medical doctors consider Vitamin C absolutely vital to good health. So much so that many doctors have written extensively about its extraordinary importance on living longer.
In the early 1990s, several large population studies showed a reduction in cardiovascular disease in those who consumed vitamin C. The most significant report came from UCLA in 1992, where it was announced that men who took 800 mg a day of vitamin C lived six years longer than those who consumed the FDA’s recommended daily allowance of 60 mg a day. The study, which evaluated 11,348 participants over a ten-year period of time, showed that high vitamin C intake extended average life span and reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease by 42%. This study was published in the journal Epidemiology (1992; 3:3, pp 194-202).
Separately, Thomas Levy, MD, JD, Cardiologist has said this, “The lower your vitamin C blood and tissue levels go, the greater your chances of developing significant heart disease.”
Most pharmaceutical companies claim that all supplements are the same. I believe there is a difference between many supplements. Although I don’t have all the answers, I personally prefer Vitamin C crystals. Although this is what I prefer, it’s up to each individual to find the supplements that deliver the best results for you.
After reading this article, I think we can all AGREE on the importance of vitamin c. It’s not a mystery regarding the benefits of vitamin c. Case studies and scientific evidence has proven that vitamin c is essential to your daily diet. If you’re not getting enough through your regular diet, Vitamin C crystals may be right for you.
To learn more about vitamin c, please contact me.
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