Although vitamin C deficiency is not thought of as being common in developed countries, you need more vitamin C than average if you have health problems.
Most of you may have heard the word scurvy, and have an awareness that it killed many people in the past, especially on long sea voyages.
Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C, and in the past eating citrus fruit... which are high in vitamin C, was how they treated it. They would take limes with them as they were known to prevent scurvy.
While most people today do not get the symptoms of scurvy that made this a killer disease, there are many health problems that a lack of this essential vitamin can cause.
Many health problems are helped by taking vitamin C, but it particularly helps those with seasonal allergies.... also known as hay fever or spring allergies. A deficiency of this important antioxidant is the direct cause of scurvy.
Many of the symptoms that caused scurvy are not common today. Yet some of them can be seen in the lives of people who do not get sufficient vitamin C in their diet or who do not take sufficient vitamin C as a supplement.
The Latin name for scurvy is scorbutus. You may note that vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid as this is because there has historically been a strong correlation between this disease and the role of vitamin C for preventing it. If you have severe allergies you may suffer from some of these symptoms.
They are also common if you have health problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome, mcs, or chemical sensitivity. While in most people these are of short duration, if you have these symptoms supplementing with vitamin C may be beneficial.
There are a number of symptoms of vitamin C deficiency and although some of these are not common if you have a number of the health problems on the list you may benefit from supplements and from adding vitamin C rich foods to your diet if you can.
Lets start by looking at the symptoms of scurvy that related to the deaths of many people in the past:
Other symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency that are more common these days are:
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, taking a vitamin C supplement may benefit you. As it is one of the specific immune system vitamins it may help to boost your immune system. It will also benefit you to increase foods that are high in vitamin C in your diet as it is one of the natural remedies to aid colds or flu.
If you have been taking any type of medication for any condition you may have... including for allergies, many of these can decrease the amount of vitamin C in your body. Specific drugs that are known to do this are aspirin, corticosteroids (cortisone drugs), often prescribed for asthma and allergies, oral contraceptives (birth control), NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs) and a number of different antibiotics.
The body cannot make vitamin C, so you need to get sufficient of this important vitamin in your diet, or taking a supplement.
A lack of vitamin C may be one of the reasons that your allergies are worse than they have been in the past.
Vitamin C is water soluble which means that it needs replenishing constantly. There are two ways to get vitamin C.
The best natural health approach to get adequate amounts is in your diet, by eating foods that are good sources of Vitamin C. The second way is to take vitamin C supplements. There are a good range of natural daily vitamin supplements available, that have vitamin C as one of their ingredients.
You can get the pure vitamin on its own or what is called buffered vitamin C ... which means its mixed with minerals to make it work better. This formulation is said to make it easier to digest but if you believe you have a vitamin c deficiency and need to take higher doses this is not recommended as you get too much of the minerals. Vitamin C complex is also available... and it contains the bioflavonoids... rutin, hesperidin and quercetin along with bromelain.
As Vitamin C supplements come as tablets, capsules and even in liquid formulations you have a lot of choices but the best and easiest type to use is vitamin C powder or crystals.
There are so many varieties of vitamin C available... but if you have allergies or chemical sensitivity there are two important criteria to take into consideration.
The first is quality... make sure that you buy good quality supplements. The second is taking your allergies into consideration.
This is why I believe that the products made by Ecological Formulas are better as they are made from tapioca... which gives you a non GMO corn free Vitamin C.
Ecological Formulas Vitamin C comes in powder or crystal form and as capsules... and they also produce buffered vitamin C as well, so you have a wide range of different types of vitamin C made from tapioca.
One of the easiest ways to take vitamin C is by using vitamin C powder or crystals.
The good thing to know is that it is difficult to overdose on Vitamin C, because it is water soluble and passes through you.
If you do take a lot you can get loose bowels, and for some people who have been constipated this may be a blessing.
It is a common practice for many naturopaths to recommend that you do a vitamin C flush at some point to see how much you really need.
This is done by increasing the amount you take, by increasing it every day, until you get diarrhea. You then decrease it in 500 milligram increments until it stops and this is the amount you can take.
Most natural health practitioners recommend that you take at least 2000 milligrams of vitamin C per day and in divided doses. If you know that you have major health problems such as the symptoms of seasonal allergies, and especially if you have been taking drugs as part of the treatment for them, you may be deficient in this vitamin.
In many cases this ends up being around 5000 milligrams. This amount is best taken in divided doses, and usually you may choose to take it 3-4 times over the course of the day. By taking the Vitamin C powder, mixed with filtered water it absorbs easily and you may find you feel better quite quickly.
While taking supplements and eating citrus fruit is a helpful way to get extra vitamin C, another excellent way to increase this vitamin each day, is to get into the habit of starting your day with lemon water.
When I was put on the leaky gut diet, I was told not to drink coffee, and to drink lemon water every day.
This made my morning choice easy, as I substituted my morning coffee with a drink of hot lemon water.
This drink is helpful, as it creates an alkaline state in the body, and this is beneficial in quite a few ways. It naturally boosts your immune system and helps to lessen catarrh and is a great natural remedy for colds and flu, as well as helping in a number of other ways.
So what is lemon water? Basically you squeeze the juice from a half of a medium sized lemon, and top it up with filtered water. Its best that the water is either tepid or warm even hot, but not cold or chilled, as this can give you digestive issues. On the other hand your digestion will improve by taking it in tepid or warmer water.
For your overall health, it is also important to increase the amount of filtered water you drink, as there are a number of health advantages of drinking sufficient water. It is beneficial to also get as much of your vitamin C as possible from your diet.
You may do this by adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables... and there are a number of organic food advantages. Choose to eat fresh organic food... as it is important to include natural vitamin C sources in your diet to help prevent vitamin C deficiency.