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Vitamin C

The “C” in vitamin C stands for citrus. It was first discovered in oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruit (which are the best sources). Other good fruit sources of vitamin C are rose hips, cherries, cantaloupes, and strawberries. Vegetable sources include red and green peppers (the best), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.

“C” also stands for collagen. Collagen is necessary to keep our skin from wrinkling. It is also important to keep ligaments, cartilage, vertebral discs, joint ligaments, and the walls of blood vessels elastic. Important for bones and teeth, vitamin C is also essential to repair spinal discs, cartilage, wounds, and for blood vessel strength.

Vitamin C is a complex and basic nutrient that is required for almost all functions in the body. Since our bodies cannot make vitamin C, this essential nutrient must be obtained exclusively from our diet. Vitamin C is found only in fruits and vegetables and in small amounts in grains. The ideal diet would consist of at least 2,000–5,000 mg daily. Stress increases the need for vitamin C. However, it is a very unstable vitamin and is easily destroyed by heat (cooking) and the numerous preservatives put in our foods. This essential nutrient is also eliminated by most medications (antibiotics, aspirin and other pain medications), tobacco, alcohol, and environmental toxins (industrial solvents, pesticides, petroleum products, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium, etc).

Vitamin C is a very important antioxidant. On the other hand, salt is an oxidant. Oxidation on cars results in rust. Oxidation in our bodies leads to a host of health problems including hardening of the arteries, cancer, infectious diseases, wrinkling of the skin and loss if vitamins A, B and E. These conditions cannot be reversed without Vitamin C.

Linus Pauling lead the research of vitamin C and reported that in high doses it has the potential to strengthen the immune system, prevent and treat the common cold, as well as flu, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Authorities in alternative health care agree with Dr. Pauling’s assessment of vitamin C. Now vitamin C is used to treat many viral conditions besides colds and flu. Hepatitis, herpes simplex infections, mononucleosis, measles and shingles, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and some skin conditions often report improvement with vitamin C. Many have reported the positive benefits of high does of vitamin C in both preventing cancer and helping boost the immune system of patients with cancer.

It is often impossible or impractical to acquire therapeutic doses of vitamin C from our diet. Many doctors supplement with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). However, high doses (over 5,000–10,000 mg) may cause diarrhea. This diarrhea is only one time and the first indication that the body’s tissues are saturated with vitamin C. Unlike most medications, there are no dangerous side effects from this essential nutrient.

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