The Role of Vitamin C in Your Diet
That’s right, unless you are a marathon runner or tend to hang out in the Arctic, Vitamin C does not prevent colds or the flu. It also doesn’t make these illnesses shorter. About the only thing that orange juice does for you is provide plenty of fluids.
While it doesn’t do the above, it is still a vital nutrient. It helps manufacture cholesterol, but more importantly it helps turn the cholesterol into bile, which is necessary to digestion. Changing cholesterol is also beneficial to your heart, as it keeps the cholesterol from attaching to your arteries.
If you have a tendency towards anemia, you may want to be sure to get your full RDA of C. While it doesn’t contain iron, it is considered useful in helping your body absorb the iron in other foods.
Urinary tract infections in pregnant women are a problem for both mother and child. These infections can be passed on to the child especially during childbirth. However, studies indicate that this vitamin may help prevent them. More research needs to be done to find out how much added benefit is there and what the mechanism is.
The news about C and cancer is somewhat mixed. The good news is that it is an antioxidant and therefore may be able to prevent certain cancers. However, studies were mixed as to the effects of supplemental levels given during chemotherapy. For the most part, it shouldn’t be harmful but it may not help everyone.
Another benefit of the antioxidants in C is reducing your risk of macular degeneration. This is an age related eye problem that can lead to blindness.
One point that you should be aware of; Vitamin C is water soluble and your body cannot store it. If you take more than the recommended daily allowance, you will literally flush your hard earned money down the toilet. Also, do not take C with caffeine, as it will block up to sixty percent of it from being absorbed.
You should always check with your doctor before beginning a supplement program. Make sure the doctor knows about any medical conditions as well as any medications/supplements you are already using. This will help protect you from harmful side effects and drug/herb interactions.