|Most of us are at least somewhat aware of vitamin C's health benefits:
fighting colds and flu and necessary for various other body functions.
However, more and more research indicates that vitamin C may be more
important than most of us think.
Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling was the first to fully realize the
crucial importance of vitamin C in the maintenance of a healthy immune
system. In 1970, he proposed that taking vitamin C in much higher
amounts than that of the official RDA could both prevent and shorten
the duration of the common cold.
At that time, most experts disagreed with Dr. Pauling. However, more
recent research has confirmed his original proposition. Not only does
high vitamin C intake prevent and reduce the severity of colds, it also
effectively fights secondary viral and bacterial infections. Other
research is finding more valuable data concerning vitamin C's health
benefits. Of real interest is its ability to lower the risk of various kinds
of cancer: breast, cervix, colon, rectum, lung, prostate, and stomach
cancers are among these. The theory behind this is vitamin C's
antioxidant properties; in other words, vitamin C eliminates free
radicals, agents that effectively damage healthy tissue and cells in a
variety of ways.
|There are various studies to support the vitamin's anticancer abilities.
One found that daily supplementation with 500 mg for 10 years cut the
risk of bladder cancer by 60 percent. Another found that
supplementation with 3,000 mg daily prevented polyp growth in colon
cancer; still other findings indicate that a vitamin C intake of only 157
mg a day cuts the risk of colon cancer in half.
Dr. Pauling and Dr. Cameron pioneered the use of large daily doses of
vitamin C (10,000 mg) in the treatment of cancer patients. From their
experiments at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Scotland, they concluded
that terminal cancer patients who received large daily doses of vitamin
C along with their regular treatment lived much longer than patients
who did not receive vitamin C. In addition, they also experienced less
pain, and in general, a much improved quality of life. Other doctors,
including Canadian physician Abram Hoffer, expanded on the
Pauling/Cameron treatment by adding large amounts of vitamin E,
niacin, B vitamins, beta carotene, and some minerals. The results were
astounding; those cancer patients who followed the regimen lived an
average of 16 times longer than those who did not follow the regimen.
|Vitamin C and heart health||Research shows that vitamin C has a number of other health promoting
abilities. One of the most impressive its its ability to normalize blood
pressure, lower cholesterol levels, thin the blood, and protect the lining
of blood vessel walls from free radical damage (which contributes to
atherosclerosis and other forms of heart disease). Other research
indicates that adequate intake of Vitamin C can significantly reduce the
risk of strokes and heart attacks.
A recent study indicates that people who supplement with more than
700 mg of vitamin C daily have a 62 percent lower risk of dying from
some form of heart disease than do people with a daily intake of 60 mg
Supplementation with 2 g (2,000 mg) of the vitamin has been found to
reduce the adhesion of white blood cells to the lining of blood vessel
walls, thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.