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The Untold Story of Vitamin C

October 19 2012

The Untold Story of Vitamin C

By: Debra Meszaros- CSN

A genetic mutation millions of years ago left humans inferior to most animals. We lost our ability to manufacture an extremely important vitamin, vitamin C. Most of us recognize vitamin C as an important role player in immune system function, and as a major antioxidant, but it is its involvement in many other functions of the body that gives us reason to focus on this very essential nutrient. For individuals under mental, emotional, or physical stress, listen closely.

The highest concentrations of vitamin C are found in your adrenal glands and brain. Your adrenal glands depend on it for the production of adrenal steroid hormones. I call vitamin C adrenal fuel. To your brain vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitter production, affecting mood. Proper brain function relies on the availability of vitamin C; so we can call it brain fuel too!

If you are an athlete or an individual wanting to keep your ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone or heart strong, you should pay attention to your bodies needs for vitamin C. It is likely the levels of vitamin C needed by your body go way beyond the recommended daily allowance set at 90mg for men and 75mg for women. Collagen is the main component of connective tissue and vitamin C is required for its synthesis. As a structural component of blood vessels, capillaries, skin, teeth, vertebrae, and your intestinal tract, this vitamin needs to be high on your priority list.

Most Americans are struggling with maintaining proper weight levels and/or body fat ratios; it is vitamin C that is involved in the synthesis of carnitine, which is your body’s essential compound responsible for the proper burning of fat for energy within your cells. The body was designed to utilize fat as its primary energy source, providing long term sustained energy and endurance. Your cellular power plants also run on a co-enzyme known as CoQ10. The body needs to manufacture CoQ10 on a regular basis and it depends on the availability of vitamin C daily. Vitamin C is also cellular fuel.

Are all forms of vitamin C created equal?

Almost all vitamin C supplements on the market are listed as ascorbic acid. This is really an isolated, purified compound produced in a lab by a five step chemical process involving glucose. Since our bodies operate synergistically, always in multi-step interactions involving co-factors and multi-components for every activity, isolated components are usually non-functional. Consuming the entire vitamin C complex is the goal to achieving total vitamin C activity. Rutin, bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, and various mineral co-factors need to be present. Look for vitamin C products that are whole food based and are complexes; not 100% ascorbic acid.

What about foods high in vitamin C?

Many fruits are naturally high in vitamin C, but there are some very important facts about vitamin C stability you should know. Heat, light, and oxygen are enemies of vitamin C. Soon after slicing, peeling, or juicing fruit it begins to loose potency. Always consume your vitamin C source as soon as possible. I have a 30 minute rule I follow. And that freshly squeezed orange juice you just purchased in that cardboard container…. It is just sugar, unfortunately. If you read ingredients closely you’ll often find ascorbic acid has been added despite the “all natural” label claim. Pasteurization has depleted the natural vitamin C and they have to add it back somehow in synthetic isolated form! Always choose your foods wisely!

© 2012 Debra Meszaros, MXSportsNutrition. All rights reserved. No reproduction or use without written consent of author.
DISCLAIMER: MX Sports Nutrition does not sell supplements. When you read through this information, you must know that everything within it is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. I am making no attempt to prescribe any medical treatment. You should not use the information here for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. The products and the claims made about specific products have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Confirm the safety of any supplements with your M.D., N.D. or pharmacist (healthcare professional). Some information given is solely an opinion, thought and or conclusion based on experiences, trials, tests, assessments or other available sources of information. I do not make any guarantees or promises with regard to results. I may discuss substances that have not been subject to double blind clinical studies or FDA approval or regulation. You assume the responsibility for the decision to take any natural remedy.
You and only you are responsible if you choose to do anything with the information you have read. You do so at your own risk. Use your intelligence to make the decisions that are right for you. Consulting a naturopathic doctor is strongly advised especially if you have any existing disease or condition.