Vitamin C: the most potent vitamin

vitamin c

Could a vitamin be so important to our body and soul that the lack of it could make us show symptoms of asthma, leprosy, syphilis, dysentery, and madness all at once?

Could a single vitamin deficiency induce a disease so mysterious and visceral that it was once termed a ‘longing for home which the Physicians...esteem a disease under the name of Nostalgia.'

The scourge of scurvy

This disease of longing was how 18th century physicians, scientists and mariners viewed the scourge of scurvy, a disease whose cause was entirely unknown. It was a vicious ailment that decimated whole ship populations during long sea voyages. Historians believe that Vasco da Gama lost two-thirds of his crew in his voyage to India in 1499. In the 16th century, Magellan lost 80% of his crew to the disease.

Out of sheer desperation to keep their expeditions afloat, British captains began experimenting with ‘antiscorbutic’ (effective against scurvy) remedies. A superstition held that mere contact with the earth would cure a person of scurvy, so not surprisingly remedies emerged that were distillations of earthly fare: dried vegetable soup, malt, sauerkraut, concentrated fruit juice (rob), vinegar, mustard, molasses and beans. But scurvy still claimed the lives of large numbers of seafarers: in 1781, the HMS Egmont lost a third of her crew on a return voyage from Jamaica. An essential dietary element was still missing.

Why we need vitamin C

Scurvy is now understood to be a disease caused by a diet that lacks vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Patients deficient in ascorbic acid can develop anemia, debility, exhaustion, edema in some parts of the body, and sometimes ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth. Among all the vitamins we need in a day, it could be argued that vitamin C is the most important to overall health and disease prevention.

Vitamin C is important to many of our body’s functions. This single vitamin:

  • helps protect cells
  • promotes the production of collagen, which maintains healthy connective tissue
  • supports other tissues such as skin, bones and blood vessels
  • aids wound healing
  • increases the absorption of iron from plant-based foods such as kale and broccoli
  • acts as an antioxidant, preventing harmful oxidation in the body and protecting cells from free radical damage.

In 2014, researchers in the US even discovered that vitamin C, when delivered intravenously, can help destroy cancer cells in the body while leaving normal cells unharmed. An earlier study of terminal cancer patients highlighted vitamin C as a safe therapy for improving quality of life, and a year later, findings from the National Institutes of Health indicated that high-dose injections of vitamin C halved tumor weight and growth rate in mice with ovarian, brain, and pancreatic cancers.

In high intravenous doses, the potential benefits of vitamin C seem almost limitless.

What are the best sources of vitamin C?

Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body for later use. This means that our daily intake of vitamin C is especially important.

Fortunately, there are many good dietary sources of vitamin C, such as:

  • Citrus fruit, berries and fruit juices
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

Even if your diet includes many of those foods, however, you have to be cautious about how you prepare them. For example, the vitamin C in potatoes is mainly stored just under the skin, which is usually peeled off for cooking. Similarly, when leafy vegetables are cooked, they rapidly lose their nutrients, including vitamin C.

Adding to the problem of adequate vitamin C ingestion is the tendency in our modern diets to eat processed and convenience foods that do not contain much vitamin C at all, if any.

The challenge with vitamin C supplementation

So we are often faced with this quandary: we struggle to balance our diets but we often miss out on some of the vitamin C we need, and large doses of vitamin C supplementation can be harmful to the body’s digestion. So how do we ensure we get the most benefit from this vitamin without the harmful side effects?

Our bodies are capable of excreting excess vitamin C from our bodies – to a point. But excess vitamin C taken orally, such as doses above 1,000 mg, significantly irritates the stomach and digestion, and can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, flatulence and has been linked to kidney stones.

Advances in vitamin C supplementation

In recent years, medical science has advanced such that vitamin C supplementation has become possible without the concern for the intestinal problems. This means it is now possible to take large doses by mouth which could previously only be delivered intravenously.

The Bio En'R-G'y C® (Vitamin C) supplement from Antiaging Nutrition contains 4000mg of vitamin C in each rounded teaspoon, plus a Fully Attached Sodium Molecule (FASM), which helps to eliminate – or greatly reduce – the usual intestinal problems that occur when taking high doses of vitamin C.

Each dose also contains 2000mg of Ribose because clinical trials indicate that this increases uptake of vitamin C by more than 30%.

Reviews of the Antiaging Nutrition supplement Bio En'R-G'y C indicate that it is the solution clinicians and patients have been searching for: a delivery mechanism for this potent vitamin that can equal the benefits of intravenously delivered vitamin C in an easy-to-administer oral format and with significantly reduced side effects.

It is tempting to imagine what the seafaring men and women of the early days of exploration could have done with such an ingredient as Bio En-R-G’y C, and how many more of them would have lived to see the distant lands they were sailing for.

For us in modern times, the supplement certainly broadens our horizons for disease prevention and improved quality of life.