Scurvy, a severe deficiency of vitamin C that can result in death, has been beaten. Or has it? Some of these diseases that we believed were long gone are coming back to haunt us. It’s shocking to realize that much of the severe degeneration in seniors can be attributed to near-scurvy levels of vitamin C. vitamin C is water soluble so you need to replenish your supply every day because your body doesn’t retain it.
It seems that not a day goes by without more research showing more benefits of vitamin C. For one thing, researchers have found that people who suffer from asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and heart disease have lower levels of vitamin C in their blood than the average person.
Current research also shows that vitamin C reduces the risk of developing cataracts and other eye diseases. In fact, very recently, the age-related Eye Disease Studies reported that a daily mixture of the antioxidant vitamins (E, C and beta carotene with Zinc) slowed the progression of macular degeneration, one of the major causes of blindness in the elderly. Until this groundbreaking research, there was very little that could be done to halt or treat the disease.
Knowing that eye conditions can be prevented nutritionally is welcome news to an aging population. So you have a choice – you can meet your nutritional requirements now or pay for it later by developing a chronic illness or condition that then needs to be treated with drugs.
Vitamin C has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol which means it helps to prevent heart attacks. Another way vitamin C appears to protect against heart disease is by reducing the stiffness of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together. Scientists at the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition found that low blood levels of vitamin C may result in a higher risk of heart attack and stroke in men and women and some cancers in men.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties are thought to protect smokers as well as those exposed to second-hand smoke and other environmental toxins, from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the “glue” that strengthens many parts of the body, such as tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It also plays an important role in would healing and acts as a natural antihistamine. In addition to this, it helps in the formation of liver bile as well as fighting viruses and detoxifying alcohol and other substances. You can see why we say it’s essential!
This hard-working vitamin is thought to protect the body against the accumulation or retention of lead, heavy metal that can lead to brain damage, particularly in growing children.
The amount of vitamin C you need on a daily basis varies with age and nutritional status. If you smoke or are taking prescription drugs, you’ll need to up your daily intake.