Vitamin C, or L- Ascorbic Acid is a weak sugar acid that is an essential nutrient for consumption in humans. Humans are among those who have lost the enzyme needed to synthesize Vitamin C endogenously. Deficiency of Vitamin C in the body will lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by inadequate collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is known to act as the major water soluble antioxidant in the body and it’s major anti-aging effects relate to its ability to neutralize free radical damage. It is also been attributed in wound healing and helps prevent bleeding. It builds immunity and prevents infection. Adequate intake of Vitamin C in the form of fruits and vegetables was one of the four essential behaviors in the Norfolk Study that increased lifespan by 14 years!
The benefits of vitamin C include skin health and decreased wrinkles, decreased DNA damage, reduction in the risk of cataracts, blood pressure reduction and cancer prevention. There is actually a mixed bag of results when it comes to Vitamin C and cancer. Several studies show a reduction of risk of up to 63% in breast cancers in women while others show no effect. Anti-aging studies have shown a strong inverse relationship among males between Vitamin C intake and mortality. Males with the highest Vitamin C intake demonstrated a decreased mortality from all causes. There was a 22% reduction in cancer rates and a 42% reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease. The statistics for females showed the same inverse relationship but not as impressive. There was a 14% reduction in breast cancer rate and a 25% reduction in cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce age dependent telomere shortening by up to 60%. This led to a significant increase in cellular lifespan and a decrease in cellular senescence. So the question now is, why NOT take your Vitamin C?