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L - Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)


Vitamin C

The body does not manufacture vitamin C, so it must be obtained either from food sources or through supplements. Vitamin C has multiple functions as either a coenzyme or cofactor. Vitamin C is responsible for helping to build and maintain our tissues and strengthening our immune system. Vitamin C is essential for the oxidation of phenylalanine and tyrosine, and the conversion of folacin to tetrahydrofolic acid. Vitamin C may modulate prostaglandin synthesis to favor the production of eicosanoids with antithrombotic and vasodilatory activity. Vitamin C is required for synthesis of dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline in the nervous system or in the adrenal glands. Vitamin C is also needed to synthesize carnitine, which is of paramount importance in the transport of energy to the cell mitochondria. Ascorbic acid is required for collagen synthesis and has a structural role in bone, cartilage and teeth.

Vitamin C

When used in the Pauling Therapy.


Vitamin C as an antioxidant -

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Vitamin C neutralizes potentially harmful reactions in the watery parts of the body, such as the blood and the fluid inside and surrounding cells. Vitamin C may help decrease total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as increase HDL levels. Vitamin C's antioxidant activity may be helpful in the prevention of some cancers and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C are thought to protect smokers, as well as people exposed to secondhand smoke, from the harmful effects of free radicals. Vitamin C strengthens the collagen structure of arteries, lowers total cholesterol, and blood pressure, an inhibits platelet aggregation.


Vitamin C and heart disease -

Vitamin C may protect against heart disease by reducing the stiffness of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together. Long-term administration of vitamin C reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. Under most circumstances, dietary vitamin C is adequate for protecting against the development of or consequences from cardiovascular disease. When taken with vitamin E, vitamin C helps protect LDL ("bad") cholesterol from oxidation, thus preventing plaque buildup in coronary arteries. Individuals with high blood levels of vitamin C have significantly reduced risk of stroke. The risk of stroke was inversely related to vitamin C in the bloodstream. Vitamin C improves nitric oxide activity. Nitric oxide is needed for the dilation of blood vessels, potentially important in lowering blood pressure and preventing spasms of arteries in the heart that might otherwise lead to heart attacks. Vitamin C has reversed dysfunction of cells lining blood vessels. The normalization of the functioning of these cells may be linked to prevention of heart disease.

Vitamin C and cancer -

Vitamin C may have cancer-preventive activity, at least for certain types of cancer. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C may help to fight cancer by protecting healthy cells from free-radical damage and inhibiting the proliferation of cancerous cells. Vitamin C to improve the antineoplastic activity of doxorubicin, cisplatin and paclitaxel. The mechanism of the effect may be pro-oxidant, not antioxidant, activity of the vitamin in potentiating the effects of these chemotherapeutic agents. High concentratins of ascorbic acid in gastric juice may reduce the risk of gastric cancer by inhibiting the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds. Ascorbic acid is toxic to viruses and bacteria and other such harmful cells. It is also toxic to cancerous cells and a little less toxic to non-cancerous cells and so it is used therapeutically in cancer therapy. Many of the pollutants which now pervade our environment can cause carcinogenic, toxic or mutagenic effects. Vitamin C may be able to combat these harmful effects, in part by stimulating detoxifying enzymes in the liver.

Vitamin C and collagen, connective tissue -

As a participant in hydroxylation, vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen in the connective tissue. These fibers are ubiquitous throughout the body; providing firm but flexible structure. Vitamin C is involved in the hydroxylation of proline to from hydroxyproline in the synthesis of collagen, a protein substance on which the integrity of cellular structure in all fibrous tissues depends. Collagen is the "glue" that strengthens many parts of the body, such as muscles and blood vessels. Collagen is a protein needed to develop and maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums, cartilage, vertebrae discs, joint linings, skin and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C and immune system -

Vitamin C may be useful as an immune stimulator and modulator in some circumstances. Vitamin C promotes resistance to infection through the immunologic activity of leukocytes, the production of interferon, and the process of inflammatory reaction, or the integrity of the mucous membranes. Vitamin C stimulates the immune system. Through this function, along with its antioxidant function, it may help in the prevention and treatment of infections and other diseases. There is some evidence that vitamin C inhibits the replication of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1).

Other functions of vitamin C -

Vitamin C has been reported to reduce activity of the enzyme, aldose reductase, in people. Aldose reductase is the enzyme responsible for accumulation of sorbitol in eyes, nerves, and kidneys of people with diabetes. Vitamin C levels in the eye decrease with age and that supplementing with vitamin C prevents this decrease, possibly leading to a lower risk of developing cataracts. Vitamin C may be helpful in protecting against some of the lipid oxidation caused by smoking. Vitamin C may be helpful in chronic diseases characterized by oxidative damage to biological molecules. People with recurrent boils (furunculosis) may have defects in white blood cell function that are correctable with vitamin C supplementation.

Vit C and dosage

Vitamin C is water soluble and is regularly excreted by the body. While vitamin C is generally non-toxic, and side effects and symptoms of over use rarely occur, however, in high doses (more than 2,000 mg daily) it can cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset. At high doses, some people can experience gastrointestinal side effects such as stomach cramps, and nausea, and may increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Intake of large amounts of vitamin C can possibly deplete the body of copper, an essential nutrient. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron and should be avoided by people with iron overload diseases. Those who have kidney problems should check with a healthcare provider before taking vitamin C supplements. Infants born to mothers taking 6,000 mg or more of vitamin C may develop rebound scurvy due to a sudden drop in daily intake. People with hemochromatosis should not take vitamin C supplements because of enhanced accumulation of non-heme iron in the presence of this vitamin. If you experience any problems or side effects as a result of your use of this product you should cut back on your dose and if symptoms persist you should stop taking this product and consult your physician.

References & Further Research

The effect of 5-year vitamin C supplementation on serum pepsinogen level and Helicobacter pylori infection
We conducted a population-based, double-blind, randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of vitamin C supplementation on serum pepsinogen (PG) level, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) infection, and cytotoxin-associated gene A (Cag A) status. Subjects aged 40 to 69 years living in one village in Akita prefecture, a high-risk area for gastric cancer in Japan, were recruited through annual health check-up programs. Overall data showed vitamin C supplementation may protect against progression of gastric mucosal atrophy.

Vitamin C Supplement Use and Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women
A vitamin C benefit is the stimulation collagen and bone synthesis. Studies of dietary vitamin C intake and the relation with bone mineral density (BMD) have been conflicting, probably because of the well-known limitations of dietary nutrient assessment questionnaires. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the independent relation of daily vitamin C supplement use with BMD in a population-based sample of post menopause women. Vitamin C supplement use appears to have a beneficial effect on levels of BMD, especially among postmenopausal women using concurrent estrogen therapy and calcium supplements.

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