Not too long ago, a popular television and Internet personality “busted the myth” of vitamin use.
He claimed Americans take vitamin supplements because Linus Pauling popularized vitamin C as a cure for the common cold. And Pauling was wrong. Therefore, taking vitamin supplements is pointless.
I’ve read hundreds of studies that say otherwise. Supplements can make a huge difference to your health. In fact, supplemental vitamin C offers you some big health benefits.
Here are five that just may surprise you…
Far More Than Just an Antioxidant
Vitamin C is best known as a potent antioxidant. Countless studies show it fights the damaging effects of free radicals. But this versatile vitamin does a lot more…
Younger-looking skin – Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a key protein in skin and connective tissue. Collagen helps keep your skin smooth and firm.
An English study found getting more vitamin C helps prevent wrinkles. Women who get more vitamin C were less likely to have dry skin. Cutting down on total fats and carbs improved skin even more.
Boost heart health – In 2004, Finnish doctors compared several heart studies. Specifically, they looked at the subjects’ intake of antioxidant vitamins. Vitamin A only had a small positive effect on their risk of heart disease.
But vitamin C was a different story altogether. Compared to people who didn’t take vitamin C supplements, those taking the highest amounts cut their risk of heart disease up to 25%.
Breathe easier – Many people suffer with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. In plain terms, they find it hard to breathe after exercise. New research shows vitamin C can help.
Vitamin C is key to making histamines and other anti-inflammatory compounds in your body. The new study reviewed several previous studies… and found vitamin C can cut post-exercise breathing trouble in half.
Improve blood pressure – Doctors at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine set out to answer a question. Various studies showed vitamin C lowers blood pressure… or it doesn’t.
The Johns Hopkins team went through 29 studies for data. They found that taking an average of 500 mg of vitamin C per day for an average of 8 weeks seems to lower blood pressure effectively.
Improve blood sugar control – Diabetes is a serious health threat. Millions of Americans suffer – or are at high risk. So anything that helps control key metabolic processes helps. In this case, it’s vitamin C.
Scientists in Italy tested vitamin C on a group of diabetic adults. The volunteers saw a drop in free radicals, circulating insulin, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides. Many also showed signs of improved glucose handling.
How Much C Is Enough?
The upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg a day. But that’s because more than that can cause stomach upset and diarrhea… not because it’s dangerous.
The various studies here used different amounts. From 500 mg a day, to 1,000 mg a day, or even more. But I didn’t see any that went as high as 2,000 mg per day.
You can try taking 500 mg twice a day, and go higher – up to a total of 2,000 mg – if your body tolerates it well. (Most people do.)
For the best effect, split the amount you take into two or three doses per day. Since vitamin C dissolves in water, any extra will wash out in your urine. Spreading out your intake will help keep your vitamin C levels steadier.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
Cosgrove, M.C., et al, “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women,” AJCN. Oct 2007; 86(4): 1225-1231.
Knekt, P., et al, “Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts,” Am J Clin Nutr. Dec 2004; 80(6): 1508-1520.
Hemilä, H., “The effect of vitamin C on bronchoconstriction and respiratory symptoms caused by exercise: a review and statistical analysis,” Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. 2014; 10: 58.
Juraschek, S.P., et al, “Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 95: 997-998.
Paolisso, G., et al, “Metabolic benefits deriving from chronic vitamin C supplementation in aged non-insulin dependent diabetics,” J Am Coll Nutr. Aug 1995; 14(4): 387-392.
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