One of the most significant advances in improving human nutrition was the discovery and isolation of vitamin C. In the 16th and 17th century scurvy, a severe vitamin C deficiency disease characterized by weakness, lethargy, bruising and bleeding, was the leading cause of death among sailors on long voyages. This was due to the limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Today, scurvy is fairly rare but it still affects populations living with malnutrition.
Including foods high on vitamin C and adding a high quality vitamin C supplement to your daily diet can have endless benefits for your health and wellbeing. Vitamin C is water-soluble (meaning it’s not stored) and since humans cannot synthesize ascorbic acid due to the absence of the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase, it has to be supplemented through food and/or supplementation.
There is no proven toxicity for vitamin C and excess vitamin C and that the body does not need is flushed out. No studies show any relationship between vitamin C and the formation of kidney stones (calcium oxalate) in healthy people. However, if there is a history of kidney problems, vitamin C should be taken only under the guidance of a qualified professional.
Top 12 benefits of vitamin C:
- Better iron absorption
- Increasing collagen production
- Maintaining bones and cartilage
- Aiding with wound healing
- Promoting immune defence
- Protecting from cardiovascular disease
- Reducing fatigue
- Protecting cells from damage
- Supporting blood vessels
- Maintaining healthy skin and preventing wrinkles
- Supporting eye health
- May help in cancer treatment
Vitamin C shows promising potential in cancer treatment
Nobel Prize laureate Linus Pauling was definitely ahead of his time when he made controversial claims about the healing powers of vitamin C, and the potential benefits of high-dose vitamin C treatments in cases of heart disease, cancer and other types of conditions of the industrialised world. Actually, despite being a respected scientist and humanitarian, his views on vitamin C were rebuffed by the medical community and he was ridiculed by the medical profession.
High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for patients with cancer since the 1970s and had been shown to be effective as a non-toxic anti-cancer agent. It has since been used in complementary and alternative medicine and intravenous high-dose vitamin C or ascorbic acid has been shown to cause very few side effects in clinical trials. Recent studies also showed that it reduced mortality by 25% on breast cancer patients in Japan.
Professor Michael P. Lisanti of the Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom co-authored a recent study that finds that a therapy involving the antibiotic Doxycycline and ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, was up to 100 times more effective for killing cancer stem cells. Dr. Lisanti says: “Our results indicate it is a promising agent for clinical trials, and as an add-on to more conventional therapies, to prevent tumor recurrence, further disease progression, and metastasis.” Although it may be unrealistic to imagine a world without cancer, it sure is comforting to imagine a cancer treatment with a natural and non-toxic compound such as vitamin C.