Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why Vitamin C Is Important

There’s been a great deal of research concerning the many ways in which Vitamin C is beneficial to health. Also known as ascorbic acid, this nutrient serves the body in a variety of ways. In addition to the long established means of helping to maintain health, there’s a great deal of research indicating its value in helping the body overcome serious illness and disease. Some studies indicate a good potential for the possibility that Vitamin C can even help prevent some diseases.

What we definitely know about vitamin C is that it is an essential part of the creation of collagen in the body. Collagen is particularly import to the connective tissues of the body and is the scar of healed wounds is made of.

We also know that it helps to keep the gums healthy and the teeth tight. It also promotes healthy cell growth and development, as well as helps the body to use the iron and calcium it takes in. Vitamin C plays an important role in the healing of wounds and the rebuilding of tissues, helps to keep tiny capillaries functioning the way that they should, and also serves to prevent dangerous blood clots.

From the many scientific studies through the years, Vitamin C has come to be associated with many other health benefits. These include such things as strengthening the body’s immune system, helping to fight infection, playing a role in the reduction of cholesterol and high blood pressure, and having a part in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.

Furthermore, Vitamin C has been associated with helping to prevent cataracts, cardiovascular diseases and even certain types of cancer. Research continues into these intriguing areas of study.

A lack of Vitamin C has been known for many years to be the cause of the disease scurvy. Early signs of scurvy include red bumps around hair follicles, easy bruising, joint pain and a general feeling of weakness and fatigue. As the disease progresses, small open sores begin to appear on the body and in the mouth. The teeth loosen and gum tissue bleeds. Other ways in which a deficiency of Vitamin C can affect the health of the body include poor digestion, water retention, frequent colds, and low energy levels.

While the minimum standard of Vitamin C daily intake is 60 micrograms or mg, most recommend consuming significantly more than that. The minimum requirement offers protection against the worst symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency, with most of the positive effects coming from intake levels of 200 to 500 mgs daily. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and thus, passes out of the body with urine. That means it must be replaced daily.

Many people find that using Vitamin C supplements is a safe and convenient means of making sure that the daily Vitamin C intake goals are met. Your desired daily intake of Vitamin C will depend of what you are hoping to achieve with your intake, i.e. helping to reduce cholesterol or high blood pressure, helping in collagen production, or building up your immune system. Seeing your health care professional is a good way to determine the best and most beneficial daily intake level for you.

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