by: Melanie Grimes
(NaturalNews) Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that can prevent major diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even cancer. Most other animals (for instance monkeys and guinea pigs) produce their own vitamin C but a few other animals, as well as human beings, do not. Because vitamin C cannot be manufactured in the human body, intake from foods or supplements is necessary. Vitamin C is easily sourced in citrus fruits, as well as cherries and many other fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C has a number of important functions in the body. It helps create collagen, which is needed for healthy skin, as well as bones and tendons. It helps stimulate neurotransmitters and aids brain function. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of carnitine, an important part of the body's energy conversion system. Vitamin C is important in reducing cholesterol and in preventing gallstones. It's also an antioxidant, and in this capacity, prevents colds and flu.
Vitamin C Deficiency
A severe deficiency of vitamin C leads to the disease scurvy. Scurvy can be diagnosed by blood tests to detect either carnitine or norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter.
Vitamin C Prevents Heart Attacks
With only 50 mg a day of vitamin C, heart disease was reduced by over 40 percent in a study with men. In the same study, women showed a 25 percent reduction.
Vitamin C and Diabetes
Research has shown that individuals with high amounts of vitamin C in their blood have a lower incidence of diabetes. This research was conducted at the Addenbrooke Hospital by reviewing medical records.
Vitamin C Lowers Cancer Risk
Research on over 800 men with lung cancer during a 25 year period showed a 64 percent reduction by taking only 83 mg of vitamin C a day. Further research has shown a 50 to 75 percent reduction in cancers in laboratory mice by adding vitamin C to the diet. This has fueled the National Cancer Institute to recommend five to ten servings of vegetables or fruits each day.
Vitamin C Reduces Risk of Stroke
Over two thousand participants in a Japanese study showed a 54 percent lower risk of stroke. These individuals ate fruit at least six times a week, compared to those who ate fruits less than twice a week.
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