The humble yet powerful vitamin C is sometimes over-rated and yet more often over-looked as a valuable and necessary part of every person’s life. The biological effect of vitamin C only lasts for about six hours and so we need to constantly be replenishing this essential vitamin. Most people know that inadequate body levels of vitamin C can cause scurvy causing bleeding under the skin, bruising, bleeding and swollen gums, anemia and general weakness and many people know that higher levels of vitamin C can help in the prevention of colds and flu as well as elevating the body’s ability to fight cancer. But very few people seem to understand that the body needs extra vitamin C to help accelerate the healing of wounds both accidental and surgical. Vitamin C will help detoxify from certain drugs and other harmful chemicals such as nitrites. Vitamin C helps in the formation of natural steroid hormones, it utilizes iron in the body and helps to regulate the metabolism of cholesterol. This fantastic vitamin helps to maintain normal brain activity for good mental health and memory functions. Most people know that stressful conditions over a period of time will create dangerous body reactions, but adequate levels of vitamin C will help the body deal with stressful conditions.
Keep in mind that smoking can severely deplete your vitamin C levels, as will the use of aspirin, antibiotics, cortisone drugs and oral contraceptives. Your diet and lifestyle can also affect your vitamin C body levels. It has been shown that individuals use up their body’s store of vitamin C much faster when confronted by disease or distress and the resulting lowered body levels of this vitamin seem to aggravate any existing illness or anxiety which will then cause a vicious cycle.
Many scientists question the adequacy of the recommended amounts for the average person because of increasing environmental issues which cause high levels of physical and mental stress. They feel that much larger doses are necessary to combat these issues. One symptom of doses that are too high would be extremely loose bowels, unexplained rashes, reoccurring headaches and possible insomnia.
What then is the function of vitamin C in the body? Just as red blood cells carry oxygen to the individual cells of the body, so vitamin C carries hydrogen which is a substance necessary for the proper burning of our foodstuffs and this vitamin is necessary for the health of our connective tissues, the substance which binds all the individual cells together, composes cartilages, veins, ligaments and so forth. If this substance is not in good repair, many disastrous consequences may result. Vitamin C also helps form collagen, which in turns strengths blood vessel walls.
The precious minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which our body needs for so many functions are stored in our bones until they are needed. If not enough vitamin C is present, the tissues of this storage place will not retain the minerals and they are then lost to us.
Finally, vitamin C is a powerful agent against the infections that constantly plague us. An individual who gets over and above his daily quota of this vitamin will not be subject to as many infections.
The recommended dosage for an average adult is 1,000 mg. daily the daily recommended dosage for a child is 60 to 100 mg. Essential Oils that are high in vitamin C or that help the body to absorb this powerful vitamin are those in the citrus families, as well as the rose family.