Oh no” You croak as you raise your hand towards your throat that feels as if the local D.I.Y store has commandeered to boast sandpaper sales, you attempt to speak while at the same time you endeavor to breathe through your blocked nose.

To no avail, only funny squeaking sounds hail forth from the Olfactory organ.

You continue with your utterances to anyone who will listen to you ” I’ve got a cold.” “My head aches” No one comes to your aid.

Autumn has gone with a gush of wind and a celebration of falling leaves. Now in its wake comes winter. And as she reaches out her cold bug laden tentacles toward you, not forgetting anyone else who has failed to heed the teachings of Linus Pauling to regularly dose themselves up with Vitamin C.

You recoil with utter disbelief that your lack of vitamin intake could play such havoc to your immune system. Read on and discover the importance of quality nutrition.

Essential Vitamins

Generally speaking, vitamins are either organic or manufactured as a dietary supplement substance essential for the everyday functioning, growth, metabolism (regulating through our enzyme system) and energy levels of our bodies, thus working towards an optimum quality of life.

Any let down of one single vitamin can jeopardize the whole body system. Vitamins are components of our individual enzyme system, boosting and regulating our metabolism.

Vitamins are found in a natural state in all organic foods stuff, all be it in minute qualities, but nevertheless, they are persistent. It is necessary that all the essential vitamins are regularly consumed to sustain life.

Thankfully during the indigestion of food, the body is able to simplify the process of vitamin extraction from nutrients present.

Remember too that vitamins, particularly the synthetic type are not a substitute for food nor do they act as a ‘pep’ pill. Also, it is important not to confuse vitamins with the word minerals.

Minerals are another kettle of fish and numerous. Nutrients too are something else again. Vitamins are part of the six important nutrients essential to a healthy body, for cell tissue growth, organ function, energy, and food utilization.

The six nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water. Within this article, we are focusing on vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is important for the growth and repair of our bodily tissue cells, blood vessels, bones, eyes, bleeding gums, and teeth, anti-stress, the healing of wounds, particularly after surgery and resistance to infection, including the common cold.

It also helps in the body’s absorption of iron, decreasing blood cholesterol and lowers the incidence of blood clots in veins. This gem of a vitamin even acts as a natural laxative.

Vitamin C is the only single vitamin which the body uses most eagerly. Unfortunately, our bodies, like those of apes and guinea pigs, cannot synthesize vitamin C as do the majority of animals. We, therefore, have to rely heavily on our personal diets.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of this water-soluble vitamin for adults is 50mg with recommended higher doses during pregnancy of +20mg and lactation+40.

Women on the birth control pill, older people, people suffering from and smokers require not only consistent, but frequently higher dosages of vitamin C. People who work with poisonous substances need extra vitamin C too. Did you know that just one smoked cigarette destroys as much as (25mg)?

Another interesting fact is that city dwellers need to dose up on vitamin C, as carbon monoxide destroys vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps the body protect itself from scurvy, and it is believed to even extend life by aiding protein cells to hold together.

The Downside of Vitamin C

Research has shown no proven toxic effects apart from the occasional uncomfortable side effects of high dosages, such as diarrhea, increased urination, kidney stones, and skin rashes.

Next time you feel the beginnings of a sniffle and a tickling sore throat coming on reach for the vitamin C. You’ll be glad you did.

Vitamin C Sources

Natural foodstuffs – citrus fruits (please note that citrus fruits contain citric acid, which some people are extremely sensitive to, in which case eat the fruit rather than juicing the flesh), berry fruits, currants, cauliflower, green and leafy vegetables potatoes and sweet potatoes, root vegetables, tomatoes are all good natural sources.

The richest source of vitamin C is found under the bud of the rosehip and rose tree, known as the hip. Rose hips contain bioflavonoids and other enzymes beneficial in the assimilation of vitamin C.

Manufactured supplements – effervescent tablet form, pastilles, syrups, time-release tablets, which are a very effective form of supplementation as vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and is excreted in two or three hours after indigestion, dependant of the quality of the food in the stomach.

Therefore it is paramount to continually replenish and, maintain a consistently high level of vitamin C within the bloodstream. Powders too are high on the list of quality supplements.

Vitamin C powder has the main advantage that one tsp gibes up to as much as 4,000mg: together with the added bonus of extra potency and, particularly important to anyone suffering from allergies, there are no added additives, binders or fillers.

Top of the range in Vitamin C supplementation is undoubtedly is one that contains the complete C complex of bioflavonoids, hesperidin, and rutin, commonly known as citrus salts.

Vitamin C works to its maximum when combined with bioflavonoids, calcium and magnesium.


References & Acknowledgments

Excerpts taken from the excellent article ‘Vitamin C’,  Author, Patricia Ann – FITBODY magazine