Benefits of Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C and why SHOULD you take?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate, is an essential vitamin to the human body. It could very well be one of the safest and most important vitamins you could take on a daily basis. Vitamin C is most known as the first thing people go for whenever they have a cold. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Since it is water soluble, extra amounts that the body doesn’t use leaves the body through urine within 24 hours.

It is an antioxidant as well. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Antioxidants also possibly help reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to form collagen, a protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It is also essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of people’s cartilage, bones, and teeth. C also helps with blood pressure by strengthening the walls of the arteries. It can also prevent damage to cells caused by aging as well as help reduce stress.

How much should you take?

The guidelines aren’t designed for people who is exercising / for athletes. Those folks that are active obviously need more C than the non-active person would. It is believed that active people can benefit from taking anywhere from 500 milligrams to as much as 3,000 mg a day, depending on the person’s daily activity level. If you are sick, you may need as much as eight grams a day for the duration of your illness.

Personally I take 2000-3000 mg every day. If I’m sick (what is maybe ones a year a little cold) I take around 5000 mg.

The Hungarian who discovered the Vitamin C In 1932, the Hungarian Albert Szent-Györgyi already knew that hexanuric acid was present in large amounts in citrus, where it prevented oxidation of polyphenols, but where it was difficult to extract because of the other sugars naturally present there. After being fed a meal of paprika peppers — a common spice and food in the Hungarian diet — Szent-Györgyi was inspired to assay it for hexuronic acid, and found it present in large amounts without the contaminating sugars from sweeter plants. With a plentiful source of the pure vitamin, Szent-Györgyi now sent a large sample to noted British sugar chemist Walter Norman Haworth, who chemically identified it as L-hexuronic acid and then proved the identification by total synthesis in 1933. Haworth and Szent-Györgyi now proposed that the substance L-hexuronic acid be called a-scorbic acid, and chemically L-ascorbic acid, in honor of its activity against scurvy. Ascorbic acid turned out not to be an amine, nor even to contain any nitrogen.

In part, in recognition of his accomplishment with vitamin C, Szent-Györgyi was awarded the unshared 1937 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Haworth also shared that year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in part for his vitamin C synthetic work.

 Csaba Serak