Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and other connective tissue molecules. It ensures that the blood vessels remain healthy and elastic. All tissues that give our body structure and strength such as the joints, tendons, skin, muscles (including the heart muscle), bones and connective tissue depend on the building action of vitamin C, especially during recovery periods. Moreover, vitamin C plays an important role in the construction of neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory hormones, the amino acid carnitine, the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids and the metabolism of minerals.
The antioxidant function of vitamin C
Besides all of the above, it’s important to have plenty of vitamin C because it interacts with enzymes which are key in several of the body’s important processes.For example, the antioxidant function of vitamin C is critical to the maintenance of healthy cells and tissues.It has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels, including the ability to repair broken vessel walls.
Then there is its strong detoxifying effect. It helps in the elimination of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and nickel, among others. In the gastrointestinal tract, it prevents the conversion of nitrates and nitrites into toxic nitrosamines. It supports our immune system too.
What is vitamin C?
The chemical name of Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid. It is a water soluble vitamin which is distributed throughout the body. The highest concentration is in the adrenal glands and pituitary gland, but the greatest amount resides in the liver and skeletal muscles, due to the large size of these muscles in relation to the whole body.
Why don’t we produce vitamin C?
Vitamin C is mainly found in vegetables, fruits, potatoes, offal (liver, kidney) while many other foods contain smaller concentrations. Unfortunately, humans are one of the few mammals that can no longer produce vitamin C themselves and are completely dependent on food for its supply. Unfortunately we lost that ability about 40,000 years ago due to a genetic error. Our needs cannot be covered by our food which is why taking a supplement is often desirable.
Vitamin C deficiency
The first symptoms of a lack of vitamin C include fatigue, weakness, myalgia (muscle pain), reduced resistance, lack of appetite, poor wound healing, bruising easily, bleeding gums, weak connective tissue and can include scurvy and insomnia in cases of severe deficiency .
The well-known writer and physician Dr. Thomas Levy writes in his book “The Incurable Cure” that a healthy person needs about 20 grams (!) Of vitamin C per day. According to him, a person with a mild illness would need 40 grams and someone with a serious infection should consume at least 60 grams. In individuals with very serious infections and chronic conditions, a dose of 80 grams is desirable and often essential.
Ascorbic acid and Ester-C
For a high intake of vitamin C, the standard form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is not always suitable. Not many people can tolerate this much acid. Ascorbic acid can also causes diarrhea in high doses. This acidic form of vitamin C in higher concentrations also stresses the kidneys and liver as large amounts of acidity are excreted. It can even cause kidney stones in sensitive individuals.
There is another non-acidic form of vitamin C called Ester-C which is generally well tolerated. This form has the same absorption rate in the cells as most other supplements.
Liposomal Vitamin C
The problem with normal supplements is that they are not always absorbed well in the blood. There is another form, liposomal vitamin C in which the vitamin is encased in tiny fat globules and which is known to be more than 95% absorbed into cells. According to Doctor Levy, it is 20 times more effective than regular vitamin C. Therefore, 1 gram of liposomal vitamin C, is equivalent to 20 grams of regular vitamin C in terms of effectiveness. Even the ascorbic acid form of the vitamin is not harmful to the body which sees the liposomal package as something it has produced itself.
Liposomal vitamin C thus makes it simple to get an effective amount of vitamin C into your body. The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has found that vitamin C has a low acute toxicity and no safe upper intake limit has been determined *.
* (The EFSA Journal (2004) 59, 1-21)