Vitamin C – What Is It?
Vitamin C is one of many ingredients in the Tikva product. The health benefits of vitamin C are abundant and varied, but it’s probably best known as a cell protector, immunity booster, and powerful Antioxidant. The body’s ligaments, tendons, and collagen (a protein found in connective tissues) rely on the presence of it to stay strong and healthy. It is an antioxidant that counters the effects of cell-damaging molecules called free radicals. As an added benefit, it even helps the body recycle other antioxidants.
Vitamin C – Health Benefits
Reduces cardiovascular deaths
A 10-year study from UCLA showed that in a population of more than 11,000 US adults aged 25-74, men who took 800 mg of daily lived about six years longer than men who took only 60 mg of daily. Even after controlling for smoking, education, race, diseases, and other factors affecting survival, higher vitamin C intake in men still predicted lower mortality. Increased intake was likewise associated with greater longevity in women. Higher vitamin C intake reduced cardiovascular deaths by 42% in men and 25% in women.
Vitamin C Supports Endothelial Function and Protects the Heart
Mounting evidence, associates higher levels with protection against cardiovascular disease, America’s leading cause of premature death. It may help support the heart and vascular system by protecting against endothelial dysfunction, preventing heart attacks, and countering the dangerous oxidation of blood lipids.
Scientists now know that one of the instigating factors in cardiovascular disease is the insidious process known as endothelial dysfunction, in which blood vessel walls become stiffer and less able to dilate in response to the body’s need for increased blood flow.
While elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine hasten endothelial dysfunction, scientists have discovered that pretreatment with vitamin C (1000 mg daily for one week) reduces oxidative stress and thus protects the delicate vascular endothelium from the damaging effects of elevated homocysteine.
Vitamin C Status Tied to Heart Attack Risk
For example, in a Finnish study of middle-aged men without evidence of pre-existing heart disease, men who were deficient were 3.5 times more likely to suffer heart attacks compared to those who were not deficient in the vitamin, even after adjusting for smoking and other pertinent risk factors. This led the researchers to propose that vitamin C deficiency, as assessed by low plasma concentration, is a risk factor for heart attack.
Increase resistance to heart disease (and Angina) by improving cholesterol levels.
Several studies have linked the presence of low levels to a greater risk of angina and heart attacks in people with existing heart disease. Research also indicates that, when taken with vitamin E, it helps protect LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from oxidation, thus preventing plaque buildup in coronary arteries. It may also boost blood levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol; studies are ongoing to provide definitive evidence of this action.
Speed wound healing and minimize the effects of bruising.
Vitamin C helps the body to repair and maintain itself by reinforcing cell walls and helping to strengthen tiny blood vessels called capillaries. It further accelerates healing by inhibiting Inflammation.
Relieve allergies, eczema, sinusitis, and asthma.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine capable of blocking the effect of inflammatory substances some people produce in response to allergens such as pollen and pet dander. Allergies are often an underlying cause of sinusitis and may also trigger the intensely itchy rashes associated with eczema. Vitamin C is frequently recommended with other antioxidants such as flavonoids for sinusitis. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin C helps prevent or improve asthmatic symptoms as well; asthma sufferers are often deficient in this and other vitamins. Vitamin C has also been shown to help exercise-induced asthma attacks, in some cases thwarting an attack if taken in an adequate dose right before a workout. Adults with exercise-induced asthma may want to experiment with doses from 500 mg to 5000 mg.
Lessen the severity and duration of colds and flu.
In a 1995 review of studies investigating the effect of vitamin C on colds, researchers concluded that doses of 1,000 to 6,000 mg a day at the onset of symptoms reduced a cold’s duration by 21%, and shortened its duration by one day on average. Taking vitamin C doesn’t prevent colds, however.
Protect against cataracts.
Vitamin C may keep the lens of the eye from being damaged by cigarette smoke and ultraviolet (UV) light, both types of exposure linked to cataract formation. One study showed that women who took vitamin C supplements for 10 years or more had a 77% lower risk of “lens opacities,” the beginning stage of cataracts, than women who didn’t use supplements.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C plays a key role in maintaining healthy nerve cells, and is often taken in combination with vitamin E, mixed carotenoids, ginkgo biloba, and coenzyme Q-10 to help prevent memory loss. Several observational studies and one clinical controlled study have found that vitamin C may be beneficial in preventing the development of Alzheimer dementia.
Combat the effects of aging and extend life.
Used in combination with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E and flavonoids, vitamin C may combat the deteriorative effects of aging (such as wrinkles) caused by free-radical damage. It may also help you live longer. In one study, men who took more than 300 mg of vitamin C a day (from food and supplements) lived longer than men who consumed less than 50 mg a day.