Vitamin C—New Facts to Consider
Vitamin C—New Facts to Consider
Functional architecture of the vitamin C molecule
Vitamin C is a very complex molecule. Try to imagine the above diagram in three dimensions. Think of an unpeeled potato. After I peel it, I hand you the peel saying, “Have some potato”. What would you say? “Thank you” or “You only gave me the peel. Where is the rest of the potato?” The peel is very important, but it is only one part. It protects the potato from turning brown or oxidizing. The ascorbic acid serves the same purpose for the vitamin C complex. It is the anti-oxidant covering protecting the inside of the molecule.
Vitamin C also contains bioflavonoid complexes, organic copper, P, K and J factors and rutin. Just as the unpeeled potato is a whole food, the vitamin C molecule is a whole complex. And yet you cannot go to the grocery and say, “I want a little sack of vitamin C molecules.” We need the whole vitamin C complex as it exists in whole food and herbs—not just ascorbic acid.
If you take 1500 mg or more of ascorbic acid daily, instead of the whole vitamin C complex, the following is just a partial list of what may begin to take place in your body:
• Adrenal hormones can be destroyed, making it harder to handle stress.
• Cells are more easily damaged leading to excess inflammation.
• Free radicals are not removed from the body as easily.
• Red blood cells are weakened, possibly leading to anemia.
• Myelin sheaths around nerves are not maintained properly.
• Vitamin B₁₂ can be destroyed.
• Vitamin A is not utilized properly.
• There is a greater possibility of developing kidney stones and diabetes.
• The most amazing fact is that you can develop scurvy—a vitamin C deficiency.
This can also happen if you do not get enough vitamin C in your diet.
I want to expand a little on two of these points:
The adrenal glands: Your body has two major systems to help you handle stress—the nervous system and the adrenal glands. They are inter-connected, as are all the systems in your body. We’re all familiar with how vitamin B supports the nervous system. Few of us understand that vitamin C is essential to the proper functioning of the adrenal glands.
Scurvy: Vitamin C complex knits cells together tightly. If we look at the many symptoms of vitamin C deficiency or scurvy we see that the tissues of the body are not bound together tightly. For example: bruising easily, stretch marks, nose bleeds, excess bleeding when hurt and varicose veins. Other symptoms of scurvy include:
• Weak adrenals, anxiety, depression, shortness of breath
• Hemorrhoids, nose bleeds
• Poor wound healing, bleeding gums
• Muscle cramps, swollen joints, aching bones
In order to avoid having scurvy or to heal from it, we need to eat foods high in vitamin C. Some of the best sources of the vitamin C complex include:
Bell peppers (especially red)
Raw or cooked potatoes
In addition to having three servings of the above foods daily, consider replacing your ascorbic acid supplement with a whole food vitamin C complex. Call my office today for more information.
• The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants, Judith A DeCava, MS,LNC, pp. 183-202
• The Journal: Biochemical Nitty-Gritty, Richard P Murray, D.C., “Chemistry or Biochemistry”, December 1983