What Vitamin C Can And Can’t Do For You

Healthy Living

August 16, 2016

Can Vitamin C Cure The Common Cold?

Sadly there is no cure for the common cold and taking mega doses of vitamin C will not cure one. But, your body does need adequate amounts of vitamin C in order for your immune system to function properly. Taking supplements of vitamin C may help to ease the symptoms of a cold or lessen its duration if you were taking the supplements before you got sick with the cold, but they will not prevent you from getting a cold or cure it.

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Vitamin C?

Disease And Cancer Prevention

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants you can supplement your diet with to help eradicate free radicals (which studies have linked to cancer) in your body that are created by inflammatories such as; radiation, cigarette smoke, pollution, and ultra violet sun rays as well as your body breaking food down and turning it into energy. Vitamin C aids your body to rid itself of chemicals and toxins that can produce damage to your cells, including your DNA. By ridding your body of free radicals, thus preventing cell damage, vitamin C can help to protect your body from numerous disease processes including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Keeping Your Body Whole

Vitamin C also is important in building the protein collagen in your skin structure, without this important protein our bodies would not be sustainable, quite simply it would disintegrate to ruins. Without vitamin C the collagen fibers that snake around each other to create a scaffolding structure for your skin, cartilage, muscles and bones would not exist. Collagen is also found in your blood vessels, tendons and ligaments. Without them you would not be able to heal from cuts and abrasions, make scar tissue or grow new skin. Collagen is also what keeps your skin from becoming wrinkled. All these vital functions cannot happen without vitamin C.

Stimulating Your Brain

As stated above vitamin C is necessary to create vital hormones in your body, this is also true for your brain. Hormones produced by vitamin C are used to carry signals from your brain to all parts of your body. The hormones vitamin C help to produce affect such things as pain sensory, memory, mood, and will or motivational impulses, all of which are produced by hormones like dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine which cannot be present without adequate amounts of vitamin C in your body. Just as your physical body structure needs vitamin C to function so too does your brain.

Preserving Your Vision

Some scientific studies have indicated that vitamin C may slow the progression of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and lower the risk for cataracts. Vitamin C cannot eliminate the possibility of AMD occurring, but should it occur it can lessen the progression of the disease.

Treatment For Cancer

As a treatment for cancer the FDA has not approved IV infusion of high doses of vitamin C to slow the growth and/or spread of the disease. However, there is evidence that this IV infusion treatment can not only slow the growth of cancer cells, but may also aid radiation and chemotherapy treatments to be more effective and patients may experience fewer side effects.  It should be noted that high dose vitamin C IV infusion treatments have also been seen to make cancer treatments less effective, so check with your physician to find out if this therapy is right for you.

How To Boost Your Vitamin C Naturally

You can find vitamin C in many fruits and veggies and is best when eaten as fresh as possible and raw because vitamin C breaks down as it ages or when cooked or heated. Vitamin C is abundantly found in apples, bananas, berries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, kiwi, papaya, pears, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.

It is also in delicious veggies such as; bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes and winter squash, these are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Again fresh and raw are best, but if you must cook them, steaming them or microwaving will preserve more of the vitamin C in them than other cooking methods.

How Much Vitamin C Your Body Requires

Typically women need about 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day unless they are expecting a child or are breastfeeding, in which case their obstetrician will prescribe the proper increased amount of vitamin C. Men require about 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day. People who eat a well balanced diet usually get more than adequate amounts of vitamin C from the foods they consume each day, but for those who may be lacking vitamin C you can take a supplemental ascorbic acid vitamin C tablet. Ask your physician how much is required for you. When you consume too much vitamin C (more than 2000 milligrams) it will be excreted in your urine, but it can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea and in extreme doses can cause kidney stones. Always consult with your physician before taking any supplements.