Why Vitamin C Matters More Than You Think
The skincare industry is full of expensive creams and formulations, that promise to help men and women reduce the signs of aging. In fact, in a recent study by Zion Market Research, the global anti-aging market size will reach over $216 billion by the year 2021. We’d like to believe that wellness, and youthful looking skin, can come from a bottle of cream, but despite the variety of moisturizers and skin care products available in the United States, leading dermatological experts agree that they have minimal effect.
What we found interesting, was a statement made by Karen E. Burke, MD, reported from the American Academy of Dermatology. In the article, “Myth vs. Reality on Anti-Aging Vitamins” on WebMD, Dr. Burke states: “Despite advertising claims, almost all available topical formulations contain very low concentrations of antioxidants that are not well absorbed by the skin. There are three antioxidants that have been proven to decrease the effect of the sun on the skin and actually prevent further damage: selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.”
Health and wellness begin with balanced nutrition, and it’s no surprise to hear dermatology research experts finally confirm what many of us have suspected all along; if you want to look and feel healthy, nutrition is the best place to start. That youthful glow literally starts from the inside, out, but there are many more facets to optimizing your wellness, by making vitamin C an important part of your daily diet.
What is Vitamin C?
Most commonly mentioned in the context of fighting a cold or flu, vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is one of the most recognizable mainstream vitamins, available to consumers. You can find it in over-the-counter viral or bacterial medications, and of course, multivitamins. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. It supports growth and development, but is predominantly responsible for helping your body absorb iron. In fact, for individuals with anemia or other clinical issues absorbing iron, vitamin C can be taken in conjunction with iron supplements, as part of a doctor supervised treatment plan.
The human body cannot produce vitamin C, so it is essential to derive it through dietary or daily supplements, and the amount of vitamin C needed varies by gender, according to a recent study in the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The recommended daily allowance is:
- 90 mg for men, per day
- 75 mg for women, per day
- 85 mg for pregnant women
- 120 mg for women who are breastfeeding
- Children under the age of 18 years (15 mg to 25 mg) daily
In some studies, medical researchers have identified benefits to increased vitamin C intake, for individuals who use tobacco products. While it does not protect against the development of lung, mouth or esophageal cancers, it has show to have a therapeutic benefit, particularly during cancer treatment. It may be difficult to get too much of a good thing, when it comes to vitamin C. Did you know that your body has a method of discharging excessive minerals and vitamins efficiently? They pass quickly through the digestive tract. However, individuals who routinely take more than 2,000 mg per day (according to research), may experience side effects that include gastrointestinal inflammation, and kidney stones.
Not only were Caribbean seas great for sailing weather, but pirates frequented tropical islands to stock up on citrus fruits, to keep their crew healthy on longer voyages. As a dietary source, fruits like oranges, red peppers, kiwi, papaya, and guava are high in vitamin C, averaging from 149% of DV (daily value) to over 628%. We can thank early sea faring travels and physicians, for helping us recognize the importance of vitamin C. In the 18th century, over two million sailors were recorded as suffering from scurvy, and treated successfully with dietary vitamin C (citrus fruits). Today, when we feel sick, we all intuitively reach for our vitamin C intake, although other studies indicate that maintaining a balanced intake daily, improves immunity and reduces risk of bacterial or viral infections.
In North America today, a diagnosis of scurvy is a rare condition, compared to a century ago, when it was a frequent health risk. Today, the disease is more prominent in developing and impoverished nations, but cases in the United States impact both seniors and infants. In western societies, food products are fortified with vitamin C, and other essential vitamins, to help combat scurvy. Milk, bread and children’s cereals and prepared meals, offer effective dietary supplementation. Unfortunately, while cases have been reduced in developed nations, scurvy remains a prevalent disease associated with malnutrition, and other micronutrient deficiencies, including beriberi (vitamin B1) and pellagra (vitamin B3 or niacin).
Individuals who are diagnosed with scurvy and experience any or all of the following symptoms:
- Swollen and bleeding gums (or gingivitis)
- Dry and splitting hair
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Weakened immune system
- Leaky gut
- Leaky gut (autoimmune disease)
- Slowed metabolism and weight gain
- Inflamed and swollen joints
- Easy bruising
- Leg rashes
If not addressed, and if the case of vitamin C deficiency and scurvy are severe, it can become a life-threatening condition. The absence of sufficient levels of vitamin C at the cellular level, is a known contributor to hypertension, gallbladder disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, lung and ovarian cancer.
Who Needs a Vitamin C Supplement?
Talk to your doctor about your dietary habits, and supplementing with a high-quality daily multivitamin. Since the body can efficiently dispose of ‘too much’ vitamin C, many multivitamins provide a sufficient average amount, to meet healthy intake needs.
Are you currently evaluating multivitamin supplements? Visit our website and learn more about Dr. Keller’s Advanced Immune Defense™, a phyto-nutrient rich single capsule multivitamin, that offers additional minerals and nutrients not commonly provided, including resveratrol and coenzyme Q-10. Ask your RobKellerMD® Affiliate for more information, or contact us to learn about our convenient auto-ship service, that provides delivery of your vitamins to your door, on-time, every month.
Another Healthy Tip! Did you know that the peel of a citrus fruit, contains five to ten times more vitamin C and other essential nutrients? Find a way to incorporate orange, lemon or lime zest into your meals and cooking, to increase daily intake (in a delicious way).