Learn how you can benefit today from the Vitamin B & C
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What is Vitamin B & C?
B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Though these vitamins share similar names, they are chemically distinct that often coexist in the same foods. In general, dietary supplements containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Individual B vitamin supplements are referred to by the specific number or name of each vitamin: B1 = thiamine, B2 = riboflavin, B3 = niacin, etc. Some are better known by name than number: niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin and folate. Each B vitamin is either a cofactor (generally a coenzyme) for key metabolic processes or is a precursor needed to make one. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun. The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease.
The History of Vitamin B & C
The Englishman Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins is given credit for approaching the discovery of the vitamin concept, when in 1906, he determined that food contains essential ingredients beyond carbohydrates, minerals fats, proteins and water. The term vitamin was first used for water soluble substance which was necessary for the nutrition of infants and which was separated from wheat germ, yeasts and milk. In fact this term was used after the first discovery of anti-beriberi factor by Casimir Funk in 1912. The first vitamin B discovered was vitamin B1 by Funk that was extracted from police rice husk. It was then isolated in pure and crystalline form by B.C.P Jansen in 1925. Casimir coined the term ‘vital amine’ to describe the class of chemicals that he and other researchers were studying, and the word was simplified to ‘vitamin’ by 1920. Three years after this discovery, Elmer Vernon McCollum and Marguerite Davis labeled it ‘water soluble B’ which British biochemist Jack Cecil changed to vitamin B in 1920. Casimir Funk (1884-1967), a Polish born American biochemist, collected all published literature in the issue of deficiency diseases. He was the first to isolate niacin, latter called vitamin B3. Those sitting down to nutritious meals usually do not consider what would happen if fresh vegetables and fruit or vitamin-supplemented juices and cereals were not routinely available. Centuries ago, sailors experienced such a lack first-hand: swollen and bleeding gums, loose teeth, hemorrhaging under the skin, and slowed healing of wounds. What we now know as vitamin C was in short supply on most ships, and human bodies reacted by developing the condition known as scurvy. Death could, and often did, quickly follow, thousands of miles away from otherwise life-sustaining provisions. Scurvy had long been the scourge of those who sailed for extended distances without fresh food and supplies, with the first clear-cut descriptions of the malady appearing in the medieval records of the European Crusades. Toward the end of the 15th century, scurvy was cited as the major cause of disability and mortality among sailors on long sea voyages. Although Danish mariners were long acquainted with the condition, and included lemons and oranges in their marine stores, it was not until 1753 that scurvy was recognized in the British medical community at large as directly related to dietary deficiency. In 1769, William Stark, a young British physician, began a series of experiments on diet and nutrition, using himself as the experimental subject. After consuming only bread and water for 31 days, Stark added other foods to his diet one by one, including olive oil, figs, goose meat, and milk. In two months, Stark recorded that his gums were red and swollen, bleeding easily to the touch. Seven months later he died, possibly from scurvy, and likely from the cumulative effects of malnutrition. Stark’s diet was heavy on meat and starch, but devoid of fresh vegetables and citrus fruits. Twelve years before Stark’s ill-fated experiments, Scottish physician James Lind, having observed the preventive and curative powers of citrus fruits and lemon juice during his years as a naval surgeon, wrote a treatise recommending their mandatory consumption by British sailors. By 1795, Lind’s advocacy had resulted in the issuance of lime juice to all naval vessels and the gradual elimination of scurvy within the entire British fleet. At the time, no one, including Lind, knew of the existence of ascorbic acid, which would eventually become commonly known as vitamin C. It would take more years to pinpoint the scurvy-prevention substance responsible for maintaining the body’s connective tissues. That would take the meticulous work of a brilliant Hungarian-born researcher named Albert Szent-Györgyi, whose isolation and identification of vitamin C and discovery of the metabolic mechanism that enables its use within cells would be recognized with a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Top 4 Reasons You Need Vitamin B & C
1. Proper Body Functioning: Vitamin B helps to convert food into glucose which provides energy to the body. Vitamin B also helps to metoabolize fats and proteins which aids in nervous system functioning. Thiamine helps to boost the nervous system and strengthens the body under stressful condition. Pyridoxine, a part of Vitamin B complex helps to make certain hormones in the brain which are known as the neurotransmitters. It also boosts the immune system.
2. Cholesterol Problems: Niacin helps lower bad cholesterol and boosts the good cholesterol levels. It also helps to prevent hardening of arteries. Niacin, if taken in huge amounts however, can cause liver problems as a side effect.Another study 0supported the antibacterial effects of celery seed against H. pylori (27).
3.Vitamin C may help in treating cancer. As an antioxidant, it protects the body against oxidative stress and helps prevent the oxidation of other molecules. It appears to regenerate other antioxidants in the body, too.
4.Oxidation reactions produce free radicals. Free radicals can start chain reactions that damage cells. High doses of vitamin C have been found to reduce the speed of growth of some types of cancerous tissue. Researchers have proposed using vitamin C in cancer patients whose treatment options are limited. More studies are needed to understand which cancers could be affected by vitamin C and which other effective treatments can be used in conjunction with vitamin C, as well as the long-term effects of this approach. Some scientists have disputed the use of vitamin C in cancer treatment. In 2013, however, researchers found evidence that high doses of intravenous vitamin C might benefit cancer patients. A 2015 study confirmed its effectiveness. The National Cancer Institute report several studies that used high dose vitamin C intravenously with few side effects. A number of doctors support it and are already using it in treatment.
Shocking Facts AboutVitamin B & C
Good nutrition is tied to good health, as well as to the prevention and treatment of many conditions. Getting the recommended amounts of vitamins each day is an important part of the nutrition equation, and B vitamins are essential for preventive care. Abundant in green vegetables, whole or enriched grains, dairy, and meats, B vitamins help promote a healthy metabolism and are also linked to a reduced risk of stroke, research shows. Take vitamin B12, for example. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, plays a significant role in nerve function, the formation of red blood cells, and the production of DNA. While most people get plenty of vitamin B12 benefits in a varied, balanced diet, if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, elderly adults and people with GI disorders lack adequate B12. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include: • Anemia • Confusion • Dementia • Depression • Difficulty maintaining balance • Fatigue • Intestinal problems • Mood disturbances • Muscle weakness • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet • Poor memory • Soreness of the mouth or tongue Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is vital for normal brain development and for keeping the immune system and nervous system working properly. Most people who eat poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, and bananas have enough vitamin B6. But certain illnesses, such as kidney disease and malabsorption syndromes, can lead to vitamin B6 deficiency. Lack of B6 can result in a reduction of red blood cells, which take oxygen to tissues throughout the body. People with vitamin B6 deficiency may experience symptoms such as: • Confusion • Depression • Weakened immune system It’s been known that some people with B vitamin deficiencies experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Folate (vitamin B9) is in the forefront of mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have lower levels of folate in the blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, and citrus fruits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring manufacturers to add folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, cornmeal, pasta, rice, and other grain products in 1998. Additionally, folic acid (the synthetic form of folate in supplements and fortified food) is essential during early pregnancy to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine such as spina bifida. Taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid three months before conception and eating folic-acid fortified foods can help women get plenty of this essential B vitamin. Your doctor can determine if you are deficient in one of the B vitamins and may prescribe a vitamin B complex supplement. Even if you're taking a supplement, a varied and balanced diet is essential to avoiding a B vitamin deficiency and reaping the health benefits of these important vitamins. Read on to learn about the daily doses of different B vitamins you need, natural sources to include in your diet, and the health benefits you can expect to reap. The alerts on television, the internet, and elsewhere are hard to miss: If there’s any chance you’ve been infected with the hepatitis C virus, you should get tested. And if you have the virus, which is responsible for liver disease and other serious complications, it’s important to get treated. The good news? With the treatments available today, more than 95 percent of infections can be cured. Maybe you ignore these messages to get screened because they don’t seem relevant to you. You’re not an drug user sharing dirty needles, for example. You don’t have unprotected sex with lots of people you don’t know. But the truth is, hepatitis C has some surprising ways of showing up. In fact, your birth date alone may put you at risk. That’s because the virus is passed primarily through contact with blood of a person who has hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), and was unknowingly spread through the blood supply in the 1970s and 1980s. This is why the CDC recommends that all people born between 1945 and 1965 get screened for hepatitis C. Another thing to consider: If you live in an area that’s been hit hard by the opioid crisis, hepatitis C may be spreading. “In the past, the big issue has been the risk of hepatitis C in baby boomers,” says Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the division of digestive diseases at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio. “But now, because of the opioid epidemic in pockets of the United States, including here in Ohio, we’re seeing a tremendous increase in younger people.” According to the CDC, sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs is the most common cause of hepatitis C infection in the United States today. “People don’t consider themselves at risk if they use once, or a few times,” Dr. Sherman says. “But that’s all it takes.” Other risk factors include receiving blood or blood products (or organ transplants) before 1992, when stricter virus-control measures went into effect. Also high risks: being exposed to needlestick injuries, undergoing kidney dialysis, having HIV infection, or being born to a mother who has hepatitis C. Today an estimated 3.5 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C — and as many as 3 in 4 of them don’t know it, according to the CDC. When first infected, a small number of people get acute hepatitis, with flu-like symptoms such as fatigue and some effects on the liver, which goes away without medication in about six months. But most people don’t experience symptoms and don’t clear the virus from their system, meaning the disease becomes chronic. The virus finds a way to stay alive and causes a smoldering, low-level illness that over time can cause liver damage, including scarring (cirrhosis). Because most people with hepatitis C don’t feel sick and are unaware they have the virus, nearly 8 in 10 remain infected throughout their lives, the CDC says. “Hepatitis C is an insidious disease,” explains Andrew H. Talal, MD, MPH, a hepatologist and professor in the department of medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo–State University of New York. Since the liver is responsible for filtering dead cells, toxins, and other unwanted substances from the bloodstream, your health can gradually or sometimes suddenly deteriorate, depending on how completely your liver is damaged. Still think hepatitis C doesn't apply to you? Here are several risk factors that may surprise you. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider about getting tested if any of them apply to you. Getting screened for hepatitis C is quick and easy.
The Benefits of Vitamin B & C
1. Cholesterol Problems: Niacin helps lower bad cholesterol and boosts the good cholesterol levels. It also helps to prevent hardening of arteries. Niacin, if taken in huge amounts however, can cause liver problems as a side effect.
2. Prevents Against Anemia: Folate, one of B complex vitamins helps to promote healthy fetal development and makes new cell in the body. Folate is necessary to make RNA and DNA which helps in forming new cells. The vitamin also aids in promoting red blood cells and prevents against anemia. Folate is very important during pregnancy and protects damaging of the neutral tube. All women of child bearing age are advised to increase their intake of vitamin B to prevent certain birth effects during pregnancy and delivery of the fetus.
3. Flush Out The Toxins: Niacin is very useful to remove toxins from the body and flushes out the unwanted chemicals from the body. It is also required to produce several sex related hormones by adrenal gland and repairs any signs of DNA damage.
4. Promotes Cell Growth: Biotin and folic acid help make new cells and aids development of cell growth. It also helps in the production of fatty acid and maintains a steady blood sugar level. Some B vitamins also help cells to burn fat and provide glucose for energy.
5. Helps Prevent Cancer Numerous laboratory studies have shown that high doses of vitamin C can slow down the growth of prostate, liver, colon, and other types of cancer cells (15). Higher concentrations of vitamin C might also help in cancer treatment. The intravenous administration of a type of vitamin C to inoperable patients with cancer resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volume without any side effects. Ascorbate also killed cancer cells, as noted in numerous studies (16). Another report by Cornell University had stated that vitamin C halts aggressive colorectal cancer (17).
6. Aids In The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis According to the Arthritis Foundation, vitamin C can help prevent some forms of arthritis. But too much of it might worsen some other forms of the condition – which is why finding a balance is key. Getting the right dose of vitamin C helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and maintains healthy joints with osteoarthritis (18). Research also states that people with the lowest levels of vitamin C would be three times more likely to develop inflammatory arthritis (19). But as we already discussed, taking note of the dosage is important. Dietary intake of vitamin C exceeding the RDA recommendation (90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams per day for women) might worsen arthritis symptoms (20).
7. Enhances Eye Health Evidence also suggests that vitamin C intake can lower the risk of cataracts. The vitamin, when taken with other essential nutrients, can prevent age related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss (21). In fact, people with a high intake of vitamin C have 20% lower risk of cataracts. It also fights oxidative stress by preventing the free radicals from causing molecular damage to the lens tissue in the eye (22). Vitamin C could also extend the proper functioning of your retinal cells as per studies. This vitamin also supports the health of the blood vessels in your eyes. Vitamin C might also aid in the regeneration of vitamin E in the eye, which further enhances eye health (23). Regular intake of vitamin C can also aid in the treatment of uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, also called uvea) (24).
8. Treats Preeclampsia According to an American study, vitamin C might help treat preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) (25). However, further studies are warranted. Even oxidative stress could be responsible for preeclampsia. And since vitamin C helps combat oxidative stress, it can also help prevent this condition (26). Vitamin C might also help terminate an unplanned pregnancy (abortion). Certain sources suggest that the vitamin can induce heat in the uterus and achieve this. But there is limited research on this.
9. Alleviates Dry Mouth Certain sources suggest that vitamin C helps prevent and even treat dry mouth. However, there is limited evidence in this aspect.
Why Vitamin B & C Is The #1
Do you ever wonder why doctors always tell you to eat a balanced diet? Say you love pineapple chicken, for example. Pineapples and chicken are both good for you, right? So why can’t you just live off pineapple chicken? The reason is that the building blocks for good health come from a variety of foods, even if they are from the same family of nutrients. Such is the case with vitamin B, a key player in maintaining cell health and keeping you energized. Not all types of vitamin B do the same thing. Additionally, the different types of vitamin B all come from different types of foods. Vitamin B-12, for example, is found primarily in meat and dairy products. B-7 and B-9 (and, to some degree, B-1 and B-2) are found in fruits and vegetables. Deficiencies of any of these can lead to health problems. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe a supplement when they think you’re not getting enough vitamin B. Certain groups, such as older adults and pregnant women, need larger amounts of some types of vitamin B. Certain conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, HIV, and misuse of alcohol can result in poor absorption of vitamin B. Symptoms of a deficiency depend on what type of vitamin B you lack. They can range from fatigue and confusion to anemia or a compromised immune system. Skin rashes also can occur. Here’s a rundown of the most common types of vitamin B: what they do, which foods contain them, and why you need them. So what is so important about this essential vitamin? Vitamin C contains antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals in the body, warding off inflammation, infections, and viruses. Furthermore, by helping to build proteins in various types of cellular constructions, vitamin C also protects against heart attacks and strokes. In general, this nutritional element promotes better vascular health and longevity. New studies have shown even more significant health benefits of vitamin C, where the vitamin has proved to be useful in breaking down some kinds of oxidized fats. This suggests that vitamin C may even be important in preventing things like Alzheimer's disease or autoimmune problems, as well as atherosclerosis, another problem of the circulatory system. Doctors are often well versed about how this simple vitamin can affect multiple body processes. One specific manifestation of vitamin C effects is in its promotion of healthy teeth and gums. Periodontal problems and other related issues can be curbed with large intakes of vitamin C, although many other factors also apply. Generally, getting your daily recommended dose of vitamin C helps the body to handle challenges and build healthy tissues, while using the natural antioxidants to protect the body from outside invaders.
Top 3 Questions People Ask AboutVitamin B & C
1. I can feel a cold coming on, and have been advised to "overdose” on vitamin C. My question is this: Can my body absorb all the vitamin C or is it a waste to take more than the recommended daily dosage? Yes, this is often recommended, and does seem to be quite effective. However, you do need to be cautious and not take high doses for a long period of time. Some recommend 1000mg vitamin C every hour. It’s been proven that your body uses a lot more vitamin C when you’re coming down with something and/or when you have a bug, so the vitamins will get used up, although you probably would excrete some of it in urine too. The normal upper level suggested is 2000mg, but you can go up to 5000mg daily if it’s only for a few days. Also, how much vitamin C do you currently take? If the answer is none, then 2000mg may be enough. Just break the tablets up & spread it over a few doses to make sure it’s in your system for a maximum, time span. You should also get yourself some Echinacea (try Echinaforce, Flora Force or Solgar) as this also really boosts the immune system.
2.How much should I take? B vitamins are water-soluble which means they are not stored in the body - any excess vitamin B which is not needed will be safely excreted from the body. The only B vitamin that is stored in the liver is vitamin B12, however studies have found no adverse effects when taken in high doses. A Vitamin B Complex supplement is formulated to offer the optimal level of B vitamins to maintain good health and can be taken alongside a healthy diet without fear of taking too much.
3.Does taking large amounts of ascorbic acid add too much acid to my system? Is buffered vitamin C preferred? The body can handle the acid in large amounts of ascorbic acid. Remember, the acid in your stomach is much stronger than ascorbic acid, and the body can neutralize that easily. In addition, your cells and blood have buffering systems that prevent the pH from getting too low or too high. The only reason you might want to consider “buffered” vitamin C is if you have stomach distress or heartburn after taking ascorbic acid. Many buffered preparations aren’t buffered at all – they are mineral ascorbates with nearer-to-neutral pH. In other words, they are much less likely to upset your stomach than regular ascorbic acid.
Tips for a Vitamin B & C
If health-essential vitamins took part in a popularity contest, B and its many components probably wouldn’t make it to the final round. Other vitamins and supplements – think C, D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids – tend to attract the industry spotlight and help account for the $88.3 billion (U.S.) Euromonitor International says we spend globally on vitamins and supplements each year. But without the eight different and individually important elements of the Vitamin B family, we’d have far less energy. We’d feel more anxious and irritable. And we’d find it much harder to maintain healthy hair and skin. “B vitamins can affect your whole body, from the top of your head to your mood, to intestinal constipation to tingling in your extremities in more severe cases,” says Kerstin Koenig, M.D., associate medical director for Abbott’s diagnostics business based in Wiesbaden-Delkenheim, Germany. Also a nutritional therapist, Koenig is on a team of scientists and doctors who work with immunoassays that run on Abbott’s ARCHITECT system in medical laboratories used by hospitals and outpatient facilities. These assays determine the presence of and measure substances in people’s blood. In this case, the Abbott-tested Active-B12 test measures the amount of this vitamin that can readily be used and absorbed by our bodies – and can detect early if we’re deficient. Because Vitamin B tests aren’t always included in routine blood screenings – and because deficiency symptoms aren’t always obvious – people often don’t know their levels are low, says Abby C. Sauer, a registered dietitian in Abbott’s Columbus, Ohio-based adult nutrition business. “B vitamins are not top of mind, which is unfortunate because they help all the other functions in our bodies work,” says Sauer. “They’re in the background, and are not exciting or sexy. Because there are so many of them, it’s harder to connect to what they do. Many adults 65 and older are low in B12 because of their bodies’ (reduced) ability to process and use the vitamin.” While Sauer says most people get the Vitamin B12 they need from a well-balanced diet – or can supplement their intake with balanced nutritional drinks such as Ensure – she says people with gastrointestinal or digestive conditions, strict vegetarians and vegans (because B12 nutrients come from meats, eggs, and dairy products) also need to make sure they get enough. At my first job out of college, I had a boss who ate a whole grapefruit for breakfast every morning, without fail. I always knew that grapefruit was good for you, but I couldn't understand how she didn't get bored. I still don't completely get it, but now that I know more about nutrition, I see why she would make a point of having a grapefruit every day. Grapefruit is one of the best fruit sources of vitamin C, with about 88 milligrams of the good stuff. And, because this important vitamin is water soluble, it is important to get it from food (or drink) daily. Water soluble vitamins don't stick around very long in our bodies. The body absorbs what it needs at the time, and the rest is washed away in your urine. (Fat soluble vitamins last much longer.) Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which means it could help fight the free radical damage in your body. This vitamin is also associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and cataracts, according to a 1999 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.