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Vitamin C protects against coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure and certain cancers

What does vitamin C do for me? Why do I need vitamin C?

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! and today I’m talking about vitamin C!

Vitamin C functions in two important ways. First, it is a powerful antioxidant working to scrub our cell membranes of metabolic rust. Second, it is a potent cofactor in the metabolic synthesis of essential substances like collagen, carnitine and catecholamines.

More importantly, humans can’t synthesize vitamin C internally so we depend on dietary intake to get sufficient amounts of this essential nutrient.

So how does all this scientific gibberish benefit you? Sufficient vitamin C intake has been shown to reduce coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer (including breast cancer). Sufficient vitamin C is also essential to high-performance immunity.

The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin C is 75 mg per day for females and 90 mg per day for males. Those recommendations are revised upward for smokers as well as women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Foods rich in vitamin C include orange juice, grapefruit juice, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes and spinach. Vitamin C can also be taken as a dietary supplement and most multivitamin and mineral formulations contain sufficient quantities of vitamin C to ensure adequate daily intake.

Despite abundant food sources in the US, the 2013 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that 31% of the United States population does not meet the estimated average daily requirement for vitamin C!

Vitamin C taken as a supplement is generally safe if the tolerable upper intake is limited to no more than 2000 mg daily. Nutritional experts propose 200mg daily as the optimal dose.

So eat your strawberries, don’t forget the broccoli and ensure adequate intake by consuming a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement daily – all for a healthy heart, prevention of cancer and ensuring a high performance immune system.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Thanks for listening and stay tuned for our next segment when I’ll tell why you need vitamin B6 to stay healthy and happy!

Reference: The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, 2015. Online [available at]: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic Accessed May 25, 2015.