Vitamin C – “God's Medicine”
“There are more than ten thousand published scientific papers that make it quite clear that there is not one body process (such as what goes on inside cells) and not one disease or syndrome (from the common cold to leprosy) that is not influenced directly or indirectly by vitamin C”
Drs. Cheraskin, Ringsdorf, and Sisley- “THE VITAMIN C CONNECTION”
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Vitamin C-related Links:
Rath-Pauling therapy (strengthen connective tissue and Reverse atherosclerosis/CVD)
Most humans suffer from chronic subacute scurvy – Dr. Linus Pauling and his research partner Dr. Mattias Rath determined that CVD is a symptom of a chronic ascorbate deficiency.This author surmises that many other symptoms, including bleeding gums, random nosebleeds, slow healing wounds (E.g. indiabetics), hemorrhages in disease such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis , are also consequences of a low-grade C deficiency, enough to cause weakened connective tissue, but not full-blown scurvy.
Important Vitamin C attributes
Antioxidant –at physiological doses; may act as an oxidant at higher doses.
Required for collagen production in connective tissue throughout the body
Water soluble – E.g. Vitamin C will remain in soup water;
Needed Daily – Can not be stored in the body long-term. The adrenal glands have the highest concentration of vitamin C, which peaks under any type of stress, when vitamin C is mobilized from other body tissues; also, the brain has high priority for the body's vitamin C, which is concentrated in the fluid around neurons up to 100 times higher than blood plasma;
In plants, humans, all animals and fish – from the largest whale to the smallest amoeba;
Excess, unabsorbed C is excreted from the body – in sweat and feces, but mainly in the urine;
Blood Plasma vitamin C level is 10-20 Î¼g /mL
Generally, the metabolically active and developing/fast growing tissues have the highest levels of vitamin C.
Biological tissues accumulating > 100 times the level of blood plasma vitamin C include: adrenal glands (1600-1700 Î¼g /mL), pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum (involved in estrogen/progesterone production during pregnancy), and retina.
Those tissues with > 10-50 times the concentration present in blood plasma include: brain (has a double-pump to ensure its vitamin C supply), spleen, lung, testicles, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney and salivary glands.
Other tissues levels: skeletal Muscles (3-5 x plasma), RBC (3-4 x plasma), WBC (20-30 x plasma), Healing Wounds (high levels)
Pregnancy – Vitamin C crosses the placenta; cord blood concentration is ~ 2- 4 times the concentration in maternal blood;Vitamin C is distributed into milk, which contains 40 to 70 Âµg/mL with mother on normal diet
McEvoy GK, Drug Information The American Hospital Formulary Service, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., MD., 1993
Vitamin C Deficiency
People today are generally consuming enough vitamin C to prevent full-blown scurvy, but intake is not optimal to prevent a multitude of health problems
What happens to the body with insufficient C?
✔Connective tissue degenerates- E.g. leads to atherosclerosis in CVD
✔Capillary walls weaken/hemorrhage ✔Poor wound healing ✔Bone lesions develop ✔Teeth loosen/fall out ✔May increase gallstone formation ✔Liver function impaired
Signs of C Deficency
✔Tendency to bruise easily
✔Visible broken capillaries
Symptoms of Low level Scurvy – i.e. ongoing C deficiency
✔Irritability/Reduced capability to tolerate stress
✔Shortness of breath
✔Aching muscles/bones/ joints in arms and legs
✔Dry/rough skin (maybe pigmented)
People with a tendency for low tissue levels of vitamin C
Pelletier O., Vitamin C status of smokers and non-smokers. Am. J.Clin. Nutr.,1970, 23, 520-4
Burr ML et al, Plasma and leucocyte ascorbic acid levels in the elderly. Am. J.Clin. Nutr., 1974, 27, 144-51
✔People under stressful conditions
✔Those with liver disease –worsened by toxic effects of treatment medications
✔High blood copper levels – depletes body's C; copper water pipes are a source of copper
✔Those with high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, stroke, some cancers,atherosclerosis and PAD
Langlois M et al, Serum vitamin C concentration is low in peripheral arterial disease and is associated with inflammation and severity of atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2001;103(14):1863-1868
Testing for C Presence in Tissues - The usual test is to measure C in blood plasma, which more accurately informs about C's presence in the recent diet, not in the body. A better indicator is the concentration of ascorbic acid (AA) in the white blood cells, which parallels tissue concentration. Scurvy is diagnosed when C concentration is 2 mg/L in the white blood platelet layer. An even better method is a saturation test. Without access to these tests, look for signs and symptoms of C deficiency.