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Vitamin C, The Master Nutrient, Part I: Benefits

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By: Karen Pijuan

A report in the Lancet, March 2001, stated that those with the highest levels of vitamin C in their blood had one half the risk of death from all causes, including heart disease. Dr. Kay Tee Khaw found that there was a decreased risk of cancer for those with high levels of C in their blood. German physician Matthias Rath theorizes that cholesterol is used by the body as a temporary repair substance for the walls of the arteries when there is not enough of the C complex available to permanently repair the arterial damage.

In addition, there is abundant research to show that vitamin C is vital for many fundamental processes in the body. For example, it is a well known immune system builder as well as an aid in maintaining healthy skin, eyes and gums and in forming collagen. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which means that it can help protect your body from free radicals that are created in abundance in the modern world by stress, pollution and toxins.

Additional Functions of Vitamin C in the Body

In addition to the above functions, the C complex does a lot of other things in the body. In fact, some have called it a nutrient "extraordinaire." Vitamin C can aid in tissue growth and repair, and is hence helpful in healing after surgery. It also as acts as a natural antihistimine and can protect against the development of allergies. Studies have shown that C can help to reduce asthma symptoms as well.

The C vitamin aids in the manufacture of the hormones adrenaline and cortisone and also in the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are critical for proper brain function and mood. Vitamin C has been found to aid in proper adrenal and thyroid function. It also helps to regulate cholesterol levels and to reduce the incidence of gallstones.

The C complex vitamin also increases the absorption of iron, and can combine with toxins in the body like heavy metals and turn them into harmless substances so they can be eliminated from the body. Huge amounts of C are found in the adrenal, pituitary and thymus glands, as well as in the retina in your eyes. Many other organs, like the brain, lungs, liver, spleen, thyroid and the pancreas also contain much higher amounts of C than your blood does.

Vitamin C is needed to make carnitine, which is used to help transfer energy to the cells. This may explain why some feel an increase of energy when adding vitamin C-rich foods to their diet. Recent studies have shown that if you have adequate C, you will oxidize 30% more fat during moderate exercise than those with low C. This implies that the C vitamin may be useful for weight loss.

In fact, recent research has shown that the level of vitamin C in the body is inversely related to body mass. This means that the more overweight you are, the lower your levels of C. People of normal weight tend to have higher levels of the C vitamin.

In addition, it appears that vitamin C dilutes fat, which makes it easier to flush out of your system. Try adding some vitamin C-rich fruits or vegetables to each meal, like citrus fruits, red peppers, parsley or broccoli. This may well increase your metabolism and hence increase your ability to get rid of fat. If this isn't enough, you might want to consider adding a whole food C complex supplement to your diet.

Another way that C may help with weight loss is by helping boost your mood and feeling of well being. You don't need a study to know that dieting often causes you to be in a poor mood, and that in turn often causes you to go off your diet. So the C vitamin, especially in the form of natural camu camu berries can help you to maintain an up mood while dieting. In fact, camu camu berries appear to provide the nutritional support the brain needs to optimize its own mood-balancing chemicals.

So make sure and add vitamin C to your diet if you are having a hard time losing weight, especially if you are an older adult.

Vitamin C is truly an extraordinary nutrient!

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About the Contributor

Karen Pijuan is the owner of several health-related websites and has written numerous articles about healthy living, whole food supplements, natural weight loss and more. Find out more at http://www.ecoviva.com or at http://www.the-truth-about-vitamins.info.

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