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Vitamin C has long been considered an important nutrient and is the most abundant water-soluble vitamin in your body; generally well known for its potential of reducing the effects of a common cold or aiding in a speedier recovery from flu symptoms; it’s the first thing we reach for when we feel run down or a cold coming on! However, the benefits of Vitamin C are far greater and this vitamin deserves a lot more kudos!  Vitamin C carries with it an interesting and amazing history dating back to the 18th century when James Lind (A Scottish physician and pioneer of naval hygiene for British Royal Navy) proved that citrus fruits cured Scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency). This potentially saved the lives of navy men in their thousands, essentially it is a life-saving vitamin. A closer look at vitamin C, the journey begins here!

Why you need Vitamin C!

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be synthesized or stored by your body.  It needs to be received through food, and supplements can assist in RDA intakes; the great news is that it is found in many lovely fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, berries, potatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, pineapple, and peppers, to name but a few! 

Vitamin C is a co-factor in many enzymatic reactions and is essential in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a vital protein mainly found in your skin, tendons and connective tissue; collagen provides your body with structure and strength and makes up around 30% of the protein in your body. The word ‘collagen’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Kolla’ which means ‘glue’ and ‘Gennao’ which means ‘I produce’; collagen literally holds you together!

Vitamin C plays a strong protective role in boosting your immune system.  It stimulates the white blood cells or ‘leukocytes’; these are the blood cells responsible for fighting off infections such as the common cold or flu symptoms, as well as many other potential infections and viruses. It also works in tandem with iron as it increases iron absorption when digested together; iron is essential for blood production and for oxygen transfer in your blood from your lungs to the rest of your body. 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and limits the harmful effects of free radicals; it is good for your heart! Research is continuing into how high doses of Vitamin C can help prevent the development and lower the risk of certain cancers and other diseases including heart disease, such as Atherosclerosis. Vitamin C acts as a vasodilator (widening blood vessels) and can also lower blood pressure. Linus Pauling (an American chemist, biochemist, and author) said: "I think we can get almost complete control of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes by the proper use of vitamin C ... even cure it". 

Vitamin C helps your skin to heal! This is largely due to its major role in collagen production which firms and ‘bonds’ your skin. It can help heal wounds by creating scar tissue, limit the effects of sun damage through its antioxidant properties, and can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and replace lost moisture to your skin. Vitamin C is one of the strongest ‘building blocks’ that supports not only your body but your skin to be its absolute best!

How to be Healthy and Happy with vitamin C!
•    Vitamin C has many powerful properties, and fortunately, it is abundant in many fruits and vegetables; to preserve the highest vitamin C content and gain the most benefit from food you should avoid over cooking and cook at low temperatures.  In saying this, the nutrient rich foods are at risk of losing some of their potent power through transportation, light, heat, and air pollutants. The Journal of American College of Nutrition found that fruits and vegetables today were likely to contain around 30% less of their vitamin value in comparison to previous decades. The study from 2004 looked into U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits; this further highlights the benefit of eating a variety of vitamin C rich foods, ideally in their most natural state whenever possible.

•    Your body is extremely smart and when you are unwell and it needs more vitamin C, it will excrete less through your urine; this creates a need for more vitamin C to cope with fighting off an infection or virus. Commonly we pick up colds and viruses during the colder months, the best measure to avoid sickness is to keep well topped up with vitamin C throughout the year; it won’t necessarily stop you from getting an infection but it will certainly reduce the effects of it, speeding up the recovery process. This is where supplementation plays a valuable role to ensure you have the right daily levels of vitamin C to protect and strengthen your body!

The difference between Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid, and what supplement is best? 
Ascorbic Acid is the chemical or synthetic version of Vitamin C. The issue with Ascorbic acid is that it can cause digestive/intestinal upsets as some vitamin C supplements in the form of Ascorbic Acid will also contain other ingredients, such as aspartame and sorbitol (artificial sweeteners /sugar substitutes). These added ingredients may cause further adverse digestive issues or have a laxative effect (depending on dosage) which actually inhibits vitamin C absorption; it really is important to seek out the best and most natural supplements!

 GMO-Free Vitamins market a Vitamin C supplement that is sourced in the UK and contains no other ingredients; it is manufactured with DSM, the only major manufacturer that is not using Chinese or GMO ingredients. DSM use corn grown exclusively in Great-Britain and manufacture ascorbic acid from it in their plant in Dalry, Scotland. They produce Quali-C which is the purest and highest quality ascorbic acid powder available right now. 

GMO-Free Vitamins have received very positive views from customers which highlight the main benefits of their Quali-C vitamin supplement:
•    Non-GMO! Made in the UK, and with no added ingredients 
•    Increased energy, immunity boosting, natural pain relief, improves skin (acne relief)
•    No negative effects on digestion or allergic reactions
•    Superior dissolution
•    High quality and great taste!

GMO-Free Vitamins state there has also been evidence to suggest that vitamin C can prevent the formation of kidney stones, and multi-gram doses were able to help dissolve pre-existing kidney stones. In their interview with Dr. Robert Cathcart who treated over 30K patients with mega-dose vitamin C, he reported fewer incidences of kidney stones in his patients and would even treat the rare cases of kidney stones by increasing their vitamin C intake.

The excretion of Vitamin C, is it just expensive urine?
Patrick Holford (Author of Optimum Nutrition) made some interesting conclusions in his research of higher doses of Vitamin C and the absorption and excretion of it; visit here for more information on his findings to dispel the ‘expensive urine’ myth! 

GMO-Free Vitamins stated “Dr. Cathcart kept a chart of how much oral vitamin C he would have his patients take over 24 hours, based on what type of condition they had. Doses varied depending on the severity of the illness and went from 10-15g for the common cold, up past 100g/24 hours for flu. He even found that most healthy adults could take between 5 and 10g a day of ascorbic acid orally distributed throughout the day without any signs of intestinal discomfort. This is what he described as ‘titrating to bowel tolerance’” an idea based on finding the right dosage of Vitamin C distributed throughout the day, and without causing and adverse digestive or intestinal issues. GMO-Free Vitamins Quali-C is available through Amazon

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net, GMO-Free Vitamins

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