Why is Vitamin C Important?
“In fact even when there is not a single outward symptom of trouble, a person may be in a state of vitamin C deficiency more dangerous than scurvy itself. When such a condition is not detected, and continues uncorrected, the teeth and bones will be damaged, and what may be even more serious, the blood stream is weakened to the point where it can no longer resist or fight infections not so easily cured as scurvy.”
Vitamin C has long been known as the best immune-boosting vitamin. It is one of the most common vitamins and most, if not all, of us have been told we need to take it on a regular basis. It is highly marketed in a number of cold and flu prevention products, as well as cough drops, syrups, and more. Quite honestly, I could write page after page after page about the miracles of vitamin C, but I am going to try to keep this on point today. 🙂
Unlike most animals, humans don’t have the ability to synthesize vitamin C in our bodies and therefore need to supplement with it with our diet. We also are not able to store vitamin C in our bodies in a “reserve”, so we must get it through our daily diet and/or supplementation.
Vitamin C has a wide range of functions in the body, including:
- Protection against free radicals, since it is probably the best known antioxidant in today’s modern world.
- Collagen production, which is provides the framework for our skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
- Brain health, because certain neurotransmitters require vitamin C for production.
- Protection against infection, as it helps heal wounds and form scar tissue.
- Immune system improvement, by keeping our entire immune system strong and able to fight off illness.
Some ailments that vitamin C can help and prevent:
- Common cold
- Capillary fragility
- Musculoskeletal injury
- High blood pressure
- Seasonal allergies
Basically, it comes down to this: If your immune system is strong, your chances of suffering from chronic and/or fatal diseases are much lower. Since vitamin C boosts the immune system, it in effect can help prevent certain diseases.
At the time of writing this post, a simple search for “vitamin C” on the PubMed.gov site yields over 51,000 results!
While citrus fruits are the most commonly known food-based source of vitamin C, there are actually many other fruits and veggies that contain as much, if not more, than citrus. Here are some of the best food sources of vitamin C:
- Papaya (make sure it’s non-GMO)
- Bell and chili peppers
- Sea vegetables
- Leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 60-95 mg a day and that is what our government has established as just enough to maintain health but, quite honestly, the daily recommended amount is very low, much lower than what we really need. I pay little attention to those guidelines, because I feel they are incorrect. Sadly, that seems to be the case any place where the government has established the guidelines.
If you are ill or suffering from chronic disease, the amount of vitamin C you need daily will be much higher than the RDA. This amount is going to vary from person to person, but it can be increased by eating plenty of raw vitamin C-rich foods or by taking supplements.
Regular Vitamin C vs. Liposomal Vitamin C
So, now we know that we all need to be taking vitamin C every day and striving to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C when we can. Seeing that we live in a world where our food sources are becoming more and more depleted, we can assume that getting everything we need from food alone is almost impossible. That said, we need to supplement.
But hold the phone!
Vitamin C supplements are not all they’re cut out to be, so before you run out to the store and buy capsules of Vitamin C, I have a very important fact I want to share with you.
Only 17- 20% of normal vitamin C in food and in ordinary vitamin C tablets (and even in the IV infusions that are used on very ill people) is absorbed by the human body.
So, if you were to take a 1,000mg capsule of vitamin C, you are only absorbing 170-200mg of it. The rest is being excreted from the body, and in turn, you are literally flushing your money down the drain.