(NaturalNews) A high intake of vitamin C is shown to improve life expectancy by six years. Not only does vitamin C help prevent the diseases that shorten life, but the vitamin itself has life sustaining properties. Vitamin C is known to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. It repairs blood vessels and helps reduce heart disease, which are the leading causes of death in the United States.
The vitamin C intake of more than eleven thousand Americans, aged of 25 to 74, was studied from 1971 to 1974. Then the participants were followed for another ten years. Those with the higher levels of serum (bloodstream) vitamin C lived longer. With only 300 mg a day, heart disease was reduced by 50 percent in men and about 40 percent in women. Those with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood lived six years longer than their counterparts.
With even higher doses of vitamin C, researchers found that plaque was removed from artery walls, thereby reducing further risk from heart attacks. Doses of 1,500 were found to be effective. Studies with guinea pigs showed that a five week regime of 5,000 mg per day prevented plaque build-up, while only 60 mg a day did not prevent the damage to blood vessels. The doses used to remove plaque have been found to be 1,500 a day for one year.
The mechanism that is used by vitamin C is via the production of collagen. Vitamin C has the effect of increasing collagen production, and collagen is important in maintaining the cell wall of the circulatory system: veins, arteries and capillaries. The minimum daily dose may be sufficient for some, but to repair damage and restore health, larger doses are needed. Many health advocates recommend doses of 1,000 to 3,000 per day, spread out during the day. Pregnant women can double these amounts of vitamin C.
Side effects from vitamin C are rare, but a deficiency can cause gingivitis, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, swollen joints, anemia, and weight gain due to a slowing of the metabolism.
Vitamin C is water-soluble and leaves the body in urine, which is why dosing is recommended at frequent intervals throughout the day. It is preferable to obtain vitamin C from foods. Sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, along with green peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, white potatoes, winter squash, berries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.
Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks. Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at: http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/2009/04/b... Follow her blog at http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/ www.melaniegrimes.com