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Vitamin C

Surgery found to increase vitamin C requirements

Monday, September 03, 2007 by: Jack Challem
Tags: vitamin C, health news, Natural News

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If you're heading into surgery, you're going to need some extra vitamin C. Andreas Rumelin, MD, of the University of Bonn, Germany, and his colleagues recently investigated how surgery leads to a rapid decrease in vitamin C blood levels and its increased "clearance" from the body.

"A reduction of plasma ascorbic acid [vitamin C] concentrations in the post-operative period has been well documented and is associated with an increase in post-operative complications," Rumelin wrote in the Journal of Surgical Research.

In the study, he gave vitamin C (about 420 mg for a 150-pound person) to 15 middle-age and elderly patients before and after they underwent neck surgery. Rumelin and his colleagues then measured the patients' vitamin C levels before surgery and on the first day after surgery.

They found that the patients had an average drop of 40 percent in their blood vitamin C levels on the first day after surgery. At the same time, there was an average 37 percent increase in "metabolic clearance" of vitamin C from the body.

He calculated that a dose of approximately 1,150 mg of vitamin C would be needed to offset the loss and to return vitamin C to normal levels. But he also acknowledged, "The optimal post-operative plasma concentration of ascorbic acid is not known."

Reference: Rumelin A, Humbert T, Luhker O, et al. Metabolic clearance and the antioxidant ascorbic acid in surgical patients. Journal of Surgical Research, 2005;129:46-51.
-- (c) Jack Challem, The Nutrition Reporterô

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