One of the main benefits of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is that it's an antioxidant and required for tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, and healthy gums. It aids in the production of anti-stress hormones and interferon, and is needed for the metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine, and phenylalanine.
Avoid taking the chewable form of Vitamin C. Children are more likely to want a chewable vitamin than adults but chewable Vitamin C will damage tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.
Other benefits of Vitamin C are it protects against the harmful effects of pollution, helps in prevent cancer, protects against infection, and enhances the immune system. It also increases the absorption of iron and also may reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and prevents against blood clotting and bruising, and promotes healing of wounds and burns.
New evidence indicates that Vitamin C works synergistically with Vitamin E---that is, when these vitamins work together, they have a greater effect than when they work separately.
Vitamin E scavenges for dangerous free radicals in cells membranes, while Vitamin C attacks free radicals in biologic fluids. These vitamins reinforce and extend each other's antioxidant activity.
Because the body cannot manufacture Vitamin C, it must be obtained through diet or in the form of supplements. Unfortunately, most of the benefits of Vitamin C consumed in the diet is lost in the urine.
When larger amounts of Vitamin C are required due to serious illness, such as cancer, it is more effective to take Vitamin C intravenously, under the advisement and supervision of a physician, than it is to take high doses orally.
Scurvy is a disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency. It is characterized by:
Fortunately, this condition is rare in Western societies. More common signs of lesser degrees of Vitamin C deficiency include:
The Benefits of Ester-C
Natural benefits of Vitamin C in foods like:
Finding benefits of Vitamin C in Herbs like:
Alcohol, analgesics, antidepressants, anticoagulants, oral contraceptives, and steroids may reduce level of Vitamin C in the body. Smoking caused a serious depletion of Vitamin C. Diabetes medication such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese) and sulfa drugs may not be as effective when taken with Vitamin C. Taking high doses of Vitamin C may cause false negative reading in tests of blood in the stool.
For maximum effectiveness, supplemental Vitamin C should be taken in divided doses, twice daily.
If aspirin and standard Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) are taken together in large doses, stomach irritation can occur, possibly leading to ulcers. If you take aspirin regularly, use an Esterfied form of Vitamin C (see above for Ester-C).
If you are pregnant, do not take more than 50,000 milligrams of Vitamin C daily. Infants may become dependent on this supplement and develop scurvy when deprived of the accustomed mega-doses after birth.
Avoid using chewable Vitamin C supplements, as these can damage tooth enamel.