Vitamin C is a Heavyweight Among Vitamins!
It is necessary for human life, yet oddly humans are among the few animals that do not manufacture vitamin C – we have to eat it.
The majority of animals (like plants) make their own, but not primates (gorillas, monkeys and human beings).
Some birds, insets, fish and bats also lack the gene for manufacturing vitamin C. But animals (such as goats) that do synthesize C may produce huge amounts daily. Gorillas, which must consume vitamin C, get lots of it from fruits—far more than the average human.
A Big Dispute: How Much C Do We Need?
From here it is tempting to jump to the conclusion that more is better. If gorillas need a lot of it, how about humans? It takes just 30 to 60 milligrams of vitamin C daily to prevents scurvy, so wouldn’t four times as much have other health benefits?
If C in food is good, wouldn’t supplements be even more powerful? Wouldn’t a hundred times as much cure the common cold? Prevent cataracts?
Unfortunately, none of this—no matter how logical it seems—has proved to be the case. We need it to stay healthy, or even alive. It has yet to be shown that large doses accomplish anything.
It is only one important compound supplied by fruits and vegetables, and the combination of C and other nutrients—not any one substance alone—seems to add up to good health.
From 1932 when chemists isolated vitamin C, until now, no vitamin has been the subject of more research. Thousands of studies of C have been done, at a cost of millions (or billions) of dollars. And yet, we have learned very little.
The wisdom of consuming foods that contain vitamin C is incontestable. But small amounts of the vitamin seem to work as well as larger amounts, and no one has shown that supplements are beneficial.
Despite this evidence many people believe that vitamin C will prevent or cure almost every disease!
Some Facts are Not in Dispute:
- Vitamin C prevents and cures scurvy, a disease that, because of improvements in diet worldwide, is hardly seen any more.
- It is a powerful antioxidant, meaning that it neutralizes potentially harmful free radicals in our bodies. (However, it may also, under some conditions, become a pro-oxidant, meaning it can promote the production of free radicals.)
- It is essential for healthy skin and connective tissue, and for the absorption of iron, as well as other functions.
- It is water-soluble, and the body can store only small amounts; excess C is eliminated by the kidneys.
Thus, humans must consume vitamin C on a regular basis. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in it, especially citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Cooking and processing reduce vitamin C.
Other Important Findings About Vitamin C:
- According to the Natural Standard (a group of scientists that reviews findings in alternative medicine), there is no clear evidence that vitamin C prevents or cures cancer, cataracts, or heart disease.
- An analysis of studies on antioxidant supplements in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that vitamin C pills do not help people live longer.
- Many studies have shown that smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke have lower blood levels of vitamin C and that they need to consume more C—hence the government recommendation that smokers need extra C. Of course, quitting smoking and avoiding smoke would benefit them more.
- Studies of vitamin C as a possible cancer treatment are underway, but so far the news has not been encouraging. There is also some concern that high doses of C may actually harm cancer patients—for example, by interfering with chemotherapy.
Should you still choose to supplement:
Buffered ascorbic acid can be a better choice. It combines calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, and potassium ascorbate to create a neutral pH vitamin C.
- This special form of ascorbic acid lessens possible gastric irritation in sensitive individuals. The acidity of ascorbic vitamin C can easily cause stomach upset, even leading to diarrhea. The buffered form provides the same benefits, while causing less intestinal irritation, and less likelihood of loose bowels.
- Due to its calcium and magnesium addition, buffered vitamin C is more slowly absorbed into the system.
- Buffered vitamin C may also be better suited for the body when taking high doses of the supplement.
Buffered Ascobric Acid
|Manufacturer: Pure Encapsulations, Now Foods
Vitamin C for sensitive individuals
Each Pure Encapsulation Vegetarian Capsule Contains
2-8 vegetarian capsules per day, in divided doses, with or between meals.