Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is so vital that the majority of animals can synthesize it themselves. Higher primates, including us humans, are not able to synthesize it and must obtain it through diet or supplementation. Vitamin C is the least stable of any vitamin. It is easily destroyed through heat, light, and oxygen. This is why it is important to incorporate local, raw foods into your diet.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store it. It is easily excreted through the urine when it's not needed, allowing one to consume it in very high dosages safely. It is, however, utilize at a remarkable rate when it is needed. As much as 30,000 mg have been have been ingested within a 24 hour period with no spillover in the urine. These tests were done when the person taking it suffered an infection or other period of stress that required optimum amounts of Vitamin C. Because it is water soluble, and so easily excreted, it must be replaced consistently. Once again, raw foods in the diet can assure you an optimum amount of Vitamin C each day.
I'm writing about Vitamin C as a catalyst because it is important for so many of the body's processes. It helps form collagen protein for our skin, cartilage, tendons and bones, it heals wounds, it maintains the strength in blood vessels (helping to fight off varicose veins), converts folic acid into a usable form, protects vitamins A and E, and helps the adrenals secret hormones.
One of its most important functions is it ability to allow our bodies to utilize plant sources of iron. This is especially important for vegetarians and vegans. Heme iron is a form of iron that is found in animal products and is easily used in our bodies. Non-heme iron (ferrous iron) is iron from plants and supplements. Vitamin C converts non-heme iron in plants to heme iron in the body. This allows us to easily utilize plant sources of iron. This is yet another reason why we should include a variety of food in our daily diet. It's also a great explanation as to why lemon juice of greens makes them more absorbable.
Lysine, zinc, and vitamin C are just one of the few supplemental protocols I give people who are looking to rebuild collage in their bodies. Without Vitamin C, the lysine and zinc cannot create the glue-like protein that keeps us from wrinkling and keeps our body structure strong and able to rebuild. New studies are showing that collagen digesting enzymes, which naturally exist in the body to weaken certain collagen structures, could be the primary cause for the spread of cancer. If this is true, keeping our collage structures strong, with adequate C intake, can help us prevent cancer and other diseases from spreading throughout the body.
Smoking, stress, environmental pollution, and antibiotics all keep us from absorbing vitamin C. Smoking can, in fact, leach up to 50mg of vitamin C per cigarette! If you're not going to quit smoking, I suggest you take 5,000 mg to 10,000 mg of Vitamin C each day. If you have anemia, or any other iron deficiency issues, taking 1,000 mg of C with each meal can be very helpful. Always use a buffered form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid on its own is very acidic and can do damage to your stomach and pH balance. Buffered Vitamin C is bound with magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that make it less acidic and easier to assimilate - up to 400% easier in fact! Especially when using a powder instead of a pill.