Of all the Vitamins, Vitamin C is more often than not, the one that springs to mind, being the most important in a wide range of bodily functions, namely: 1. Fights off foreign invaders in the body. 2. Increases collagen production in the skin. 3.
Helps in the production of anti bodies. 4. A natural antihistamine, effectively reducing reaction to allergies.
5. Naturalizes pollutants. 6.
Maintains healthy skin. 7. Increases the rate of wound healing. 8.
Turns food into energy 9. Fighting free radicals in its antioxidant role, which means it can protect against cancer and heart disease. You will find Vitamin C in broccoli, sweet pepper, watercress, spinach, cabbage, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, melon and a whole host of foods too numerous to mention.
However, it deteriorates quickly and, as the most unstable of the vitamins, it is easily destroyed by cooking, so ideally eat these foods fresh, and raw if possible. It is also damaged by alcohol, drugs, smoking, rancid oils, burning of food, pesticides and toxic metals such as lead, aluminum, mercury and cadmium. As we can use more vitamin C than is likely to be readily obtained from food, it's best to take a supplement too. Experts disagree about the correct level to use. Many experts agree that the UK RDA of 40mg (at the time of writing) is too low, and reflects only the level required to prevent deficiency symptoms of frequent colds, easy bruising, nose or gum bleeding and lack of energy. Only a limited amount of vitamin C is stored, and unlike most mammals, we do not produce our own supplies so it's important to maintain a good supply from external sources.
My recommended dosage is 1,000mg a day, however, more can be beneficial. It is usually tolerated up to about 10,000mg per day (possibly more in the grips of infection) but beyond that loose bowels may cause problems. This is not a sign of toxicity, and will stop when the dose is reduced. Excess is discharged in the natural process of urinating. Our tolerance and usage greatly increases when fighting an infection.
WARNING: Take the advice of your medical specialist about vitamin C supplementation if you are having radiation, or during chemotherapy as high doses may interfere with cytotoxic drugs. So what is the role of vitamin C in skin health? Continued use of beauty products incorporating vitamin C, is another method of obtaining supplies, in addition to supplementation and in the diet. Be aware, however, that most skin products have no capacity to absorb light, so are not sunscreens and should never be a substitute or a replacement to sunscreen. Benefits of skin products containing vitamin C include: 1.
Perks up sun-damaged skin. 2. Minimize the effect of facial lines and wrinkles. 3. Improves skin tones.
4. UV aging is reduced, to achieve younger looking skin. 5. Can be used under daily make up or over-night. 6.
Pores are unclogged. 7. Has a moisturizing effect. 8. Help in the production of collagen.
9. Sustains the elasticity of the skin. To be useful and effective to the skin and body, vitamin C should be in the form of L-ascorbic acid. Studies reveal that once it is applied on the skin, it can stay there for up to seventy two hours. Collagen Synthesis Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue that allows skin tissue to resume its natural shape and to retain its youthful appearance.
Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to increase collagen synthesis, it aids in the healing of minor cuts and wounds. As collagen production decreases with age, photo-aging further speeds up the decrease. L-ascorbic acid, the natural form of vitamin C, sends a message to the collagen genes to manufacture more collagen. It is also a cofactor for enzymes vital in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C and Sun Protection Vitamin C also has a role as an antioxidant and free radical inhibitor. Free radicals are the exceedingly reactive molecules created by the sunlight.
Too much UV radiation exposure will give rise to free radicals. As UV radiation deeply penetrates the skin creating free radicals as well as other reactive agents that hit and damage the skin's lipids, vitamin C helps the body to neutralize these free radicals. The production of collagen is affected when the skin is exposed to free radicals. As a result, wrinkles and premature skin sagging transpire.
Vitamin C and Melanogenesis Research shows that vitamin C helps decrease melanin formation. Melanin is responsible for the skin's dark pigmentation and studies clearly show that vitamin c contributes to skin lightening. A preparation can be used to clarify and even out skin tone, as it lightens dark spots and skin blemishes. Guidelines in evaluating vitamin C products: 1.
Check whether L-ascorbic acid is present in the product or not. There are certain products containing L-ascorbic acid within a vitamin C complex. 2. L-ascorbic acid should be at a low pH level, to effectively penetrate the skin.
3. Check out the stability of the product. 4. The product to look for is that which contains stable L-ascorbic acid, low pH and high concentration.
5. Do remember that when a label says "vitamin C", it does not necessarily mean that it contains L-ascorbic acid. Regardless of all the benefits vitamin C provides, one should note that it is important not to get stuck on just one antioxidant alone. Skin aging is very complicated, and although vitamin C is evidently very effective, researchers suggest that it is best to combat factors in increasing skin aging using multiple antioxidants and not relying on a few. Other important ingredients in a skin-care product include natural extracts from vegetables and fruits to provide the maximum anti-oxidant and age defying blend of nutrients for the skin.
Phytonutrients (beneficial chemicals found in plants) are known to be the strongest in the most colorful fruits and vegetables. While some of these will be obtained from a well-balanced diet, watch for skin-care products containing these beneficial ingredients.
In 2000, at the renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London, Joy Healey gained her nutritional qualification. You can download a free ebook on skin care, from http://www.nutrition4all.co.uk/skin.html