Vitamin C or l-ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin, essential for all humans.

What can Vitamin C do for you?  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can safeguard your immune system, protect against cancer, protect sperm, support collagen production, improve adrenal function, protect against cigarette smoke exposure, enhance wound repair, reduce your risk of cataracts, and help your body detoxify.  Vitamin C is also a natural anti-histamine.

A little history.   It wasn’t until 1742 that James Lind identified ‘something’ in citrus that could prevent the dreaded disease of scurvy.  It would take several decades before limes and lemons were routinely kept on ships to prevent disease.  Linus Pauling also focused on Vitamin C in his research into cancer and curing the common cold.

Sources of Vitamin C. We often think solely of citrus when we think Vitamin C – lemons, limes and oranges – but other great sources include:  red pepper, broccoli, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomato, kiwi, papaya, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, green onions, beef liver, pork liver, radishes, raspberries, asparagus, honeydew melons, and yellow squash.  Vitamin C levels are highest if these fruits and vegetables are eaten fresh – sliced and uncovered in the refrigerator can cause a loss of up to 35% of Vitamin C in just 24 hours.  Another great source of Vitamin C is Designs for Health’s C+ BioFizz product – tastes great, no caffeine, and 2,569 mg of Vitamin C per teaspoon!

How much Vitamin C do you need?  Vitamin C is water soluble and can be taken to “bowel tolerance” (the point at which diarrhea is experienced).  Vitamin C is highly absorbable and a healthy person needs at least 200 mg/day to maintain stores.  Smokers, alcohol users and stressed people need more!  Once absorbed, Vitamin C is usually used within 2 hours and excreted via urine within 3-4 hours.