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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Benefits of Vitamin C

Fights viral and bacterial infections

One frequent viral infections is the common cold. This infection is difficult to avoid because the virus can mutate and adapt rapidly to changing environments. At present, there is no known medicine that can destroy the cold virus, which is why recovery takes time. However, evidence from numerous studies suggests that Vitamin C can reduce the severity and length of common colds, if taken at the onset of the symptoms. If taken in large doses, Vitamin C in particular demonstrates antiviral characteristics. These characteristics makes it effective in the fight against a variety of other viral and bacterial illnesses.

Strenghtens the Immune System

Vitamin C is easily absorbed, retained and utilised by our body cells, hence it plays an important role in strenghtening our immune system. Leucocytes, a type of white blood cells which plays an important role in the immune system, contain a very high concentration of ascorbic acid. The ascorbic acid decreases at the onset of infection and returns to normal after recovery. As the Vitamin C is gradually depleted from the leucocytes, the cold symptoms become more severe.

Reduces risk of chronic Diseases

Vitamin C possesses antioxidant properties that make it effective in preventing chronic diseases. Recent studies provide strong evidence that Vitamin C can prevent and even correct age-inflicted  ravages caused by unhealthy lifestyles as well as production of free radicals caused by environmental stress, UV radiation and chemical pollution. Vitamin C acts as a scavenger, working in the watery environtment of the cells to limit the build-up of free radicals. It also helps to regenerate fat-soluble antioxidants such as Vitamin E. It can also eliminate other harmful subtances in the body before they attack the body tissue and cause deadly diseases.

Lowers Cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is an essential sterol (fat-like substance) in the cell membrane. It is present in the blood and most tissues, especially in our nerve tissues, and is important for the production of many steroid hormonesand bile salts. It is essential to our well-being but excessive cholesterol may increase the risk of deposits in our blood vessels and block the flow of blood. Therefore, consumption of Vitamin C enables the conversion of excessive cholesterol into bile acids, which are subsequently excreted from the body.



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