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Why You Should Take Your Vitamin C

"Vitamin C plays an essential role in maintaining good health," says Balz Frei, PhD, a leading vitamin C researcher and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in Corvallis. "It's required for life."

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for health. It helps form and maintain bones, skin, and blood vessels; and protects our body from damage. It occurs naturally in some foods, especially, fruit and vegetables.  Unfortunately, the body is not able to make vitamin C on its own, and it does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.

Here are 6 reasons benefits you may not have known, but need to know...

  1. It Helps You Lose Weight. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, your body will burn 30 percent more fat during moderate exercise when your vitamin C levels are adequate, as compared to someone with low levels of the vitamin.
  2. It Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Several studies have found a relationship between adequate vitamin C and lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and lower incidences of stroke.
  3. It Protects Your Skin. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in collagen synthesis makes vitamin C essential for skin health. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, consuming and using topical vitamin C has been shown to benefit skin - some studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat sun damage from UV rays.
  4. It Reduces Inflammation. Vitamin C fights free radicals, helping your body heal from the inflammation that it battles daily.
  5. It May Shorten the Length of a Cold. Vitamin C is one of many nutrients our immune system needs to function at its best. A stronger immune system means fewer sick days and recovering faster when we do get sick.
  6. It May Help Fight Cancer. As an antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C have been found to reduce the speed of growth of some types of cancerous tissue. Researchers have proposed using vitamin C in cancer patients whose treatment options are limited. "Research currently underway has shown that high concentrations of vitamin C can stop the growth, or even kill a wide range of cancer cells. Only intravenous administration of vitamin C can deliver the high doses found to be effective against cancer." Dr. Ronald Hoffman

How much should you take? A low end, adult males should consume 90 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day and females should consume 75 mg per day, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During pregnancy, women should have 85 mg a day, and 120 mg while breastfeeding.

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