IN THE THIRD AND FINAL PART OF OUR FOC US ON THE MOST COMMON NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES, WE TURN OUR ATTENTION TO VITAMIN C. WE ARE TOLD THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE (RDA) OF VITAMIN C IS 80MG, WHICH IS ENOUGH TO PREVENT SCURVY.
But what else does vitamin C do and why do we become deficient? Humans lost the ability to produce vitamin C (ascorbic acid) hundreds of thousands of years ago, when the enzyme needed to convert glucose into vitamin C became redundant. Initially this was not too much of a problem, as our diet contained an abundance of fresh green vegetables and fruit. However, this rapidly changed when humans migrated and our nutritional habits changed.
Now heart disease is the number one killer in the western world, with more than 12 million people dying from the consequences of heart attacks and strokes, according to the World Health Organisation.
Eminent scientist Dr Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, estimated that the rate of heart disease would fall by 80% if adults supplemented each day with two to three grams of vitamin C.
Most animals do not suffer heart attacks because they can produce between one and 20 grams of vitamin C in their bodies. This is due to the fact
that ascorbic acid increases the production of collagen and elastin, acting as “cement” to the artery wall. This maintains elasticity and strength of the blood vessels and the solubilisation of cholesterol.
Recent studies have shown that ascorbic acid reduces levels of a protein called the C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. This is very important as evidence shows that chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Much research has confirmed that vitamin C is the safest, cheapest and most effective way to fight a cold. In one study, a test group with cold and flu symptoms were given 1000mg of vitamin C for the first six hours and then subsequently three times per day. Symptoms decreased by 85%. We commonly see this with clients at MK Lifefit, who are able to exercise intensely just a day or two later. Vitamin C strengthens the body’s immune system, neutralises damaging free radicals and in high doses kills viruses. At this time of year in particular, it makes perfect sense for us all to supplement daily as a preventative measure.
Perhaps the most amazing example of the power of vitamin C that I read about recently, was the story of the New Zealand farmer, Allan Smith, who was on life support suffering with swine flu was given no hope of recovery from doctors. He was also starting to show signs of developing leukaemia.
At his family’s demands, after being told that his life support machine was going to be turned off, Allan Smith was administered high dose intravenous vitamin C. He made a full recovery.
Perhaps the “problem” with vitamin C lies in its versatility: it is an effective antitoxin, antibiotic and antiviral. If a drug could achieve all of this, even when taken in extremely high doses and still be safe it would be called “a miracle drug.”
There are many conditions that are said to respond to high dose vitamin C therapy:
Pancreatitis and hepatitis
Some cancers and leukemia
Ruptured intervertebral disc
Heavy metal poisoning (mercury, lead)
Complications of surgery
I hope you have found the last columns about common deficiencies helpful and informative.
Take responsibility for your health and well-being.
At MK Lifefit we use vitamin C in a powdered form. We recommend a minimum of 1000mg daily.