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Successful Strategies to fight Obesity and Weight Gain
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Vitamin C - The Most Essential Nutrient

      Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is a vitamin only because it is a nutrient essential for life that is not manufactured in the body and must be obtained from outside sources. Every living thing on this planet except primates (Including man) and guinea pigs produce their own Vitamin C internally, do not require it in their diet, and do not suffer from a host of diseases and maladies caused by Vitamin C deficiencies.

      Vitamin C is manufactured internally from glucose by a four-step process, each requiring a specific enzyme. Humans have the first three enzymes but the fourth is damaged and non functional apparently from a genetic mutation that occurred in our distant ancestors. It seems that we really have a species wide genetic disease. Perhaps fixing this genetic defect should be a primary goal for the genetic engineers of this century. There is a fifth step in vitamin C cycle, the conversion of ascorbic acid into mineral ascorbates in the liver.

      The price of vitamin C deficiency is staggering. Mammals with the enzyme can live 8-10 times their maturity age. Mammals without it have a hard time living to 3-4 times their maturity age. Theoretically, using this comparison, humans might live to an age of 300 years if they had this missing enzyme. Humans have more cardiovascular disease and arthritis than other mammals. Humans are also more susceptible to viruses and infections than animals with their own vitamin C.

What Vitamin C Does for Us

      What does vitamin C do for us? There are more than ten thousand published scientific papers that make it quite clear that there is not one body process and not one disease or syndrome that is not influenced by vitamin C.

      Vitamin C is particularly known for these functions:

  • Antioxidant Activity - Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells and organs, accelerates aging, contributes to arteriosclerosis and cancer. Vitamin C is a powerful and important antioxidant.

  • Collagen Synthesis - Collagen is the foundation of all connective tissue, literally everything that holds the body together. Scurvy is the result of deterioration of the blood vessels resulting in hemorrhage, bleeding gums, bruising, loose teeth, tendency of bones to fracture, etc. Maladies affecting tendons, ligaments, skin, bone, teeth, cartilage, heart valves, intervertebral discs, cornea, and eye lens also result from vitamin C deficiency. There is a long continuum between scurvy and optimum tissue integrity. Most of us suffer from sub-clinical scurvy.

  • Immune System - Vitamin C is a requirement for the proper functioning of our immune systems. It is involved in white blood cell production, T-cells and macrophages. Without Vitamin C in adequate quantities, our own body's best defense against disease is left without fuel.

  • Cardiovascular System - Cats and Rats do not develop arteriosclerosis. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C help prevent the formation of arterial plaque. The support of connective tissues enables arteries to be strong and elastic, reducing the risk of aneurisms, stroke and other problems.

How Much Vitamin C Should We Take?

      The FDA recommendation for vitamin C consumption is 70 mg. per day. This is the amount that prevents the manifestation of the worst symptoms of scurvy. Is this enough for optimum health? Compare this with the amounts generated internally by other mammals. Adjusting for weight and comparing to a typical human body, a rat produces the equivalent of 2,737 - 13,902 mg per day, a rabbit produces the equivalent of 1,547 - 15,820 mg per day, etc.

      While opinions vary, some suggest that dosages as high as 20,000 mg. Per day may be optimal. Linus Pauling took 18,000 mg. Per day. Individual needs vary according to body chemistry, stress, exposure to toxins and illness and injury. In laboratory tests of vitamin C absorption and excretion more than 50% of the population required over 2,500 mg to reach maximum absorption.

      There is also the question of what form of vitamin C is best. Most vitamin C products are in the form of ascorbic acid. However, some individuals do not tolerate sizable doses of ascorbic acid taken orally very well. Ascorbic acid also acidifies the urine. The acid form of vitamin C may be desirable if one is trying to reduce heavy metal levels, acidify the urine to reduce kidney stones of the type that form from urine that is too alkaline or help reduce urinary tract infections.

      In most other circumstances, the buffered mineral ascorbate form of vitamin C is preferred. The ascorbates do not acidify the system, upset the stomach or acidify the urine. They also deliver some essential minerals to the body in a very absorbable and usable form. The ascorbates should be in the form of salts of calcium, magnesium, potassium and other essential minerals rather than sodium. Most individuals receive an excess of sodium in their diets but are deficient in essential minerals.

      Other forms are available on the market such as ester C and others. So far, my research into the literature has failed to produce any evidence that these other forms of C are more desirable.

      An exception exists when it is desirable to acidify the urine. Certain types of kidney stones and urinary calculi are formed in an alkaline environment and are dissolved by acid urine. Another exception is when ascorbic acid is being used as a chelating agent or as a synergist to other chelating agents. In this case, ascorbic acid is able to bind to heavy metal ions.

      The preferred form of Vitamin C for most individuals is the buffered mineral ascorbate form. Several companies sell the ascorbate form of vitamin C. Mag C is a product from Vitamin Research Products that is the magnesium salt of vitamin C. This makes it a very absorbable form of both vitamin C and magnesium. Many other forms of magnesium, including some commonly used in supplements, are difficult to absorb. BalanCe is a powder blend of ascorbic acid crystals and mineral carbonates. When mixed with water or juice, the ascorbic acid reacts with the mineral carbonates forming mineral ascorbates and CO2 bubbles. This is a very inexpensive way to get mineral ascorbates.





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