Monday, August 9, 2010

Vitamin C -- How Much Is Too Much?

More important news that can change your life!

Finding ideals in vitamin quantity can be extremely confusing - especially since there is so much conflicting information out there!

The problem doesn't get any easier when it comes to vitamin C, a major player when it comes to preventing something as simple as the common cold or as serious as terminal cancer:  Conflicting viewpoints in the media make decision-making difficult, and often leads to frustration.  However, Perfect Personal Training is always seeking answers to questions such as these, with long and happy lives in mind.  Below, we explore the varying concerns and research...

The RDA for vitamin C is incredibly low by comparison to other scientific recommendations:  Only 65-125mg per day for adults, dependent upon gender and smoking habits.  Much research indicates that these numbers are far too low to obtain and maintain optimal physical health, and that these values are based on preventing "deficiency diseases" (such as scurvy) as opposed to chronic diseases like cardiovascular illnesses or diabetes.  Much of the information regarding vitamin C and the prevention of chronic disease is based on prospective studies, in which vitamin C intake is assessed in large numbers of people who are followed over time to determine whether they develop specific chronic diseases.

Dr. Linus Pauling is a twice-awarded Nobel Prize winner with tremendous research relating to both supplementary and dietary vitamin C intake.  A few of his discoveries are outlined below:

- Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.

- Vitamin C plays a large role in the synthesis of norepinephrine, which is critical to brain function and affects mood.

- Gout is a condition brought on by high levels of uric acid in the blood.  Vitamin C supplementation (500 mg/day) for two months has been shown to lower serum concentrations of uric acid.

- Increasing vitamin C levels can increase the production and function of white blood cells, improving the immune system and helping to attack foreign bacteria and viruses. 

- Very high doses of vitamin C (up to 10 grams daily) are often used to battle cancer with some success, especially if taken intravenously.

- Oranges, grapefruit, and broccoli are all healthy foods that contain strong levels of vitamin C.  It is believed that vitamin C from foods such as these is more effective than in capsules, pills, or other forms of supplementation.

- The Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of at least 400 mg daily—the amount that has been found to fully saturate plasma and circulating cells with vitamin C in young, healthy nonsmokers.  Smokers and those at risk for chronic diseases may benefit from higher amounts.

- A feeling of queeziness may be caused by overintake of vitamin C.  An appropriate daily amount, over time, often serves as a stool-softener without aches or discomfort in the abdominal area.

Thanks for reading!  We at Perfect Personal Training hope that you can use this information to better decide what amount of vitamin C is right for you and your family.  Questions or comments?  Please post below!

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