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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Applications:
Infections, bruising, colds and flu, sinusitis, earaches, sore throats, smokers, blood clots, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, physical and mental stress, weak immune system, cholesterol levels, liver toxicity.

Scientific Data:
Numerous studies have proven the ability of vitamin C to help open constricted bronchiole tubes, accelerate wound healing, scavenge free radicals and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Its role in cancer prevention is also thought to be significant.

Depleting Agents:
Aspirin, alcohol, antidepressant drugs, analgesics, oral contraceptives, anticoagulants, steroids, cooking, food processing, diuretics, air pollution, smoking, acetaminophen toxicity. Note: Even fresh vegetables and fruits can quickly lose their vitamin C content if left standing.

Sources:
Peppers, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, melons, berries.

Interactions:
Vitamin C is intrinsically involved with vitamin E, selenium and beta carotene. For this reason, taking vitamin C with any antioxidant array is recommended. Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron, decreases the absorption of copper and can alter blood tests measuring vitamin B12 levels.

Recommendations:
Ascorbic acid is the least expensive and most common form of vitamin C. Adding adequate levels of bioflavonoids enhances absorption. Buffered vitamin C is for individuals with sensitivity to acid foods, and time-released products are also available. Ester-C has recently emerged and is thought by some to have better absorption and bioavailability, although some experts debate this claim. If you need to use large quantities of vitamin C, powdered ascorbic acid is the most practical form. Chewables can be appealing for children.

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