Vitamin C – for much more than just fighting colds

Vitamin C is another one of the essential vitamins you should consider adding to the list of vitamin supplements.

I believe that vitamin C is so important to our overall health that if I only took two vitamin supplements, vitamin C would be one of them – the other one would be vitamin D which was covered in a previous post.  I suspect that many people will read this post looking for and answer to the questions:  “will vitamin C help prevent a cold?”  and   “will vitamin C help get rid of a cold?”

The role of vitamin C in terms of a healthy body extends far beyond just fighting colds and influenza.   Vitamin C has an impact on several important aspects of your body.

It plays an important role in the formation and integrity of your collagen and tissues.  It is a powerful antioxidant and plays a role in minimizing damage from free radicals and toxins as well as bacteria and virii.

I think that vitamin C plays such an important role in these areas and others, that many conditions can be prevented or helped by having an optimum intake of vitamin C.  Remember that you want to optimize your nutrient intake.   Many people feel all they need to do is get the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of a vitamin or mineral to be healthy.  The RDA is simply the amount that is recommended – usually the amount required to avoid the worst symptoms of deficiency diseases.  In the case of vitamin C,  the RDA recommended amount is the level required in order to prevent the worst symptoms of scurvy.

You can get vitamin C from many fruits and vegetables.  Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons) are well know for their vitamin C content, but contain far less than what I feel is an optimum amount without eating mounds of fruit and veggies.

How much?  You should work with a nutritionist and your family doctor when ramping up your vitamin C intake – I recommend that people target 1-2 grams of vitamin C daily to help optimize their health.  This amount can fluctuate somewhat during times of stress or when feeling a cold or flu coming on.  Linus Pauling, the scientist know for promoting vitamin C as the cure for the common cold took several grams daily, finally settling on a daily intake of somewhere near 18 grams (18000 milligrams).   You’ll know if you take too much or if you increase your intake too quickly, as too much vitamin C can cause loose stools or mild diarrhea.

 

Want to know more?  Leave a question or comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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