So what role does vitamin C play in good health?
For optimum body functions
When it comes to keeping the body’s metabolic processes running smoothly for optimum health vitamin C has a hand in a vast number of vital functions. Any of the body’s organs, tissues or cells deprived of this wonderful nutrient would soon start to go awry in functioning.
As an immune system builder
The white blood cells are involved in immune defence: They kill off the unwanted foreign matter that invades the body. The types of white blood cells involved in immunity are called the T-cells and macrophages, which vitamin C is involved in the making of. If the immune defence could not do its job, then toxicity and disease sets in.
As an antioxidant
Damage to the body’s organs, tissues and cells happen by means of reactive molecules called free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage by oxidation. They may come from environmental toxins such as heavy metals, noxious hydrocarbons; herbicides, fungicides, pesticides…or a whole range of chemicals like, for example, nitrosamines from nitrates found in factory processed foods. Smokers take in free radicals when inhaling…The extent of the damage caused by oxidation can range from ageing to a number of chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
-To this end, vitamin C has shown to be a highly effective antioxidant by ‘mopping up’ free radicals and preventing them from doing damage by oxidation.
Where immune system building and antioxidants come together
Because Vitamin C serves as an immune system builder and antioxidant, it acts as a good source of cancer prevention. I have covered the subject of cancer and how good nutrition can be used to prevent it in previous writing.
Vitamin C in the maintenance of collagen
Collagen can be found in connective tissue. Skin, bone, teeth intervertebral disks, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and heart valves…are some of the connective tissues that contain collagen. Without collagen our tissues would not have their structural integrity or togetherness. Therefore, a lack of this vital protein could cause some serious illnesses.
Studies have shown that collagen deficiency has been linked to a lack of vitamin C in the diet. Vitamin C has an involvement in the making of collagen in the body.
Vitamin C as an essential for maintaining good connective tissue
Heart disease occurs because of a long-term vitamin C deficiency. The connective tissue making up blood vessels loses its structural integrity and as a result heart disease occurs. This essentially is long-term scurvy.
Other examples of a breakdown in collagen formation and connective tissue integrity caused by a lack of vitamin C include:
Intervertebral disks exist in between the backbones. They cushion the backbones during movement, acting as shock absorbers. Due to excessive wear and tear and a lack of vitamin C, the outer surrounding of the intervertebral disk becomes less tough and worn, forming pinholes. This allows the inner soft material to find its way on the outside, causing it to make contact with the nerves around the spinal column. This can be quite painful. However, from a Japanese study it suggests that frequent intakes of vitamin C can remedy the situation by strengthening the intervertebral disks and restoring their structural integrity.
It is hoped that the reader has been inspired to use vitamin C for healthiness and as a healer using it in high doses for reversing the above ailments.