Did you know that every human being has an inborn, genetic weakness called "hypoascorbemia"? This means that our bodies cannot produce "ascorbate" or "vitamin C" in our livers like other mammals do.
This suggests that the human liver underwent a mutation way back in time. This may possibly have occurred when our ancestors lived in fertile valleys and rainforests which provided abundant vegetation. Since so much vitamin C was available from external sources, the liver's ability to produce it may have ceased due to non-use. Other mammals that have undergone the same genetic mutation includes the ape family, guinea pigs, and fruit-eating bats (all of whom consume copious amounts of vitamin C in their natural food supply.
Vitamin C helps our body:
strengthen blood vessels
make hemoglobin (a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood)
secrete adrenal hormones and help nourish the adrenal glands (adrenal glands are our "stress" glands and sit on top of our kidneys)
protect against infections (both viral and bacterial)
metabolize iron so our bodies can use it
produce natural antihistamine (when your body is exposed to an allergen, it releases histamines, which attach to cells in your body and cause them to swell and leak fluid. This can cause itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. "Antihistamines" prevent histamines from attaching to your cells and causing those nasty symptoms)
produce interferon (an internal anti-cancer agent)
neutralize free radicals (a free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron; therefore, it is very unstable and highly reactive. Free radicals can form through natural human processes, but can also form as a result from diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, exercise, drugs or air pollutants. Free radicals wreak havoc on living tissue. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Vitamin C is an antioxidant)
re-cycle vitamin E (another antioxidant)
make "lipoprotein lipase" (an enzyme that dissolves arterial plaque)
Classical diseases and low nutrient blood readings only show up in extreme cases when the body has been severely deprived for a very long time. Long before the body reaches an advanced diseased state, it gives off subtle warning signs (sub-clinical symptoms) to warn its owner that corrective action is necessary.
Which C is Best?
When it comes to vitamin C, simpler is usually better. High-tech supplements are often not worth the extra cost and may not be as effective as plain old "ascorbic acid".
Unfortunately, timed-released vitamin C often times ends up in the toilet because not everyone's digestive tract is able to break down the progressive layers of waxy coatings on timed-released vitamins. It is usually more effective to take regular vitamin C (not timed-released) in divided doses throughout the day, preferably with meals. It is mildly acidic and can actually aid with digestion.
Buffered forms of vitamin C are not acidic (e.g. calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate) and more easily tolerated by those with a hypersensitive digestive tract; however, if regular ascorbic acid does not produce any form of gastric distress, then buffered forms are not worth the extra expense.
Plant sources of vitamin C, also come with flavonoid co-partners (e.g., citrus bioflavonoids, hesperedin, rutin, proanthocyanidins). These flavonoids enhance the action of vitamin C, therefore, it is often beneficial to include flavonoids in vitamin C supplements. Only small quantities of flavonoids are needed to be effective as long as the intake of vitamin C is sufficient.
Contrary to popular belief, "synthetic" vitamin C is every bit as effective as "natural" vitamin C. This is not the case with the fat-soluble vitamins, however. Commercially produced vitamin C is made from glucose in the exact same way animals make it from glucose in their livers. The resultant ascorbate, or vitamin C, molecule is bio-identical in both cases.
How Much Vitamin C?
Animals that produce vitamin C internally, do so at an equivalent rate for humans, from 2000 to 12000 mg every day, depending on their weight. The demand for this nutrient soars during times of stress, fear, or infection. Animals that are able to produce their own vitamin C, do NOT develop heart disease.
People who smoke are at risk of vitamin C deficiency because each cigarette uses up about 25 mg. Smokers lose collagen elasticity much faster than non-smokers and undergo premature wrinkling of the skin.
It takes about 40 oranges to yield 2000 mg of vitamin C, the daily minimum each adult human body would produce if it could.
If a person could only afford to take one dietary supplement, vitamin C would be the wisest choice. I offer a unique form of assessment that pinpoints nutritional imbalances that may elude other methods of detection. Request an assessment to determine if you are deficient in vitamin C.