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A VERY “Vital Amine” – Dr Estelle Moys

 

A Very “Vital Amine”

Nowadays, whenever people start telling me of their

ailments, I often find myself wanting to recommend

Vitamin C. To prevent a cold? Vitamin C. Deal with high

blood pressure? Vitamin C. Inflammation or infection

anywhere? C. Assist with wound healing? C. I am

starting to sound like a stuck record (showing my age!).

But what is the reason that this simple vitamin can

be such a panacea?

Vitamins are substances present in food that are

absolutely essential for regulating and catalysing many

biochemical processes in our bodies that are essential

for daily life. The term vitamin comes from Vital = Life

and Amine = amino acid which they were originally

thought to be.

Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, is a water soluble

anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are needed to counteract

the accumulation of free radicals produced from each

cell’s natural metabolic processes and for free radicals

formed from exposure to outside influences such as

diet, lifestyle and environmental pollution. Oxidative

stress caused by an excess of free radicals damages

the cells and tissues of the body and thus impairs their

correct functioning. Over an extended period of time,

if the body does not get a chance to heal, chronic

disease develops. The type of chronic illness that forms

depends on the tissue(s) affected.

One of the most common chronic diseases is

cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C has been shown

to lower risk factors for heart disease such as blood

pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This makes

sense as free radicals damage the endothelial lining of

blood vessels, cholesterol is laid down as a ‘band-aid’

to protect the wall, if the oxidative stress does not let

up , more and more cholesterol is laid down and results

in blockage of arteries and the ensuing stress on the

heart. Oxidative stress in joints leads to arthritis, in the

brain to impairment of cognition and dementia.

Vitamin C is also essential for Immune health. The

highest concentration of C is found in the white blood

cells which deal with inflammation and infection.

Maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin C helps to

stave off infection. Vitamin C shortens wound healing

time. Low levels of Vitamin C are associated with poor

health outcomes such as developing pneumonia and

requiring hospitalisation.

As it is a water-soluble vitamin, the body cannot

store it and as human bodies cannot manufacture it,

we need to ingest it every day. Foods such as fresh fruits

like citrus and berries, and dark, green leafy vegetables

like asparagus and broccoli are excellent sources.

Supplementation is necessary to help us deal with

the stresses of modern living. It is available in various

forms: ascorbic acid, buffered or esterified forms and

liposomal forms that are better absorbed and, for

extreme cases under medical supervision, it is available

intravenously.

Mother Nature helps us by producing winter fruits

that are full of vitamin C, so feast on

the guavas, oranges, and grapefruit so

abundantly available now.

Dr Estelle Moys : M.Tech Hom

 

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