A, B, C. C is the number three of the alphabet, and the number three is somewhat a real special number that symbolise deep-full dynamics of physical and metaphysical life: birth, life, death – mind, body, soul are just some of the many interrelations with this number.

Vitamin C is vital for the body, and certainly you didn’t need my short introduction about is numerical meaning, but you know I like seeing full-spectrum into specific subjects. Vitamin C is also called, Ascorbic Acid, and it is something our body cannot produce. We must obtain this nutrient from the diet.

Did you know that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in the body? 

An antioxidant helps to protect your body against the effects of free radicals – molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals have an aging effect on the body, and overall contribute to the development of chronic degenerative conditions.

Did you know Vitamin C is Iron’s best friend?

Great news, as Vitamin C combine with Iron to form an Iron chelate complex, which increase the solubility if Iron in the small intestine, resulting in increased uptake across the mucus membranes of the duodenum. Vitamin C also decreases the mineral-binding action of many antinutrients such as tannins and phytases naturally found in several food types, so it naturally improves the absorption of Iron found within those foods.

In general, Vitamin C is vital for allowing the body’s natural process of healing, and it is important for blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. 

A research study and follow-up to the Framingham Osteoporosis Study [1], was published in the Osteoporosis International revealed that taking vitamin C can potentially reduce the likelihood of suffering hip fractures. To be exact, the researchers, found that supplemental intake of vitamin C in elderly men and women Caucasian were 44% less likely to have a hip fracture compared to those with a lower intake of the vitamin

In an earlier study [2] the researcher also used the Framingham Osteoporosis Study to determine the relationship between vitamin C and bone loos among elderly man and confirmed that vitamin C may have a protective role when it comes to bone health in older men.

The Framingham Study, by the way, began in 1948 to evaluate risk factors for heart disease; The original subjects (5209 men and women, aged 28–62 yr) were selected as a population-based sample of two-thirds of the households in Framingham, Massachusetts and have been examined biennially for more than 50 years. In 1988–89, 1402 surviving subjects from the original cohort participated in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.

A metanalysis, a statistical approach to combine the results of multiple studies, published in Osteoporosis International strongly support that increasing dietary vitamin C intake can decrease the risk of hip fracture [3].

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, which the major building block of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments: it makes about 90% of the structure of the skeleton. Collagen is also found in many other body parts like blood vessels, corneas, and teeth.  You can think of it as the “glue” that holds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word “kolla” which means glue.

Which food contains Vitamin C? 

The best food sources of vitamin C are fresh and fruits and vegetables, like oranges, red, yellow and green peppers, berries, broccoli, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, potatoes. An important note is that vitamin C do not like heat, so the best reliable source is really only fresh fruits and salads.

How much do you need? 

The best answer has been evaluated by seeing how much the human body absorbs and excrete of vitamin C; a study, published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition showed that the bioavailability of vitamin is 100% with a 200mg dose, but decline significantly at higher doses, with only 75 and 50% bioavailable, respectively, of a 500 and 1.250mg dose [4]. The data indicate that intestinal vitamin C transport mechanism in humans, have evolved to fully absorb up to 200 mg of vitamin C. In addition, vitamin C is reabsorbed in the kidneys, which helps maintain blood levels at a maximum concentration of 70-80umol/L. This concentration is reached in humans by an intake of about 200mg/day of vitamin C: If we take more than that, it will flushed out through the urine, to keep that blood level balanced.

One portion of fruit has approximately 50mg of Vitamin C, so 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day will provide 200mg a day, which can keep you at ideal levels.

A big challenge I often hear from my clients is that they don’t actually know what is causing their skeletal complains; But here’s the kicker: you have to nourish your skeletal system with the right nutrition and lifestyle choices for building back its efficiency and function. And Vitamin C is the right place to start. In my clinical practice I have used just about every method within my range of expertise to inspire change, serve my clients, and create resources that people want: if you are ready to begin working with me, book your free 15 minutes consultation via the online calendar below.

Best Wishes,

Adriano M.


References:

[1] Sahni, S., Hannan, M.T., Gagnon, D. et al. Protective effect of total and supplemental vitamin C intake on the risk of hip fractures – A 17-year follow-up from the Framingham Osteoporosis study. Osteoporos Int (2009) 20: 1853.

[2] Shivani S., Hannan, M.T., Gagnon, D. et al. High vitamin C intake is associated with lower 4-year bone loss in elderly men.  J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):1931-8.

[3] Sun, Y., Liu, C., Bo, Y. et al. Dietary vitamin C intake and the risk of hip fracture: a dose-response meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int 29, 79–87 (2018).

[4] Frei B, Birlouez-Aragon I, Lykkesfeldt J. Authors' perspective: What is the optimum intake of vitamin C in humans? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(9):815-29.