5 New uses for Vitamin C
I often think of vitamin C as the easiest nutrient to consume through food, but likewise it is easy to be deficient and lose since it is water soluble and is eliminated easily from the body. Many fruits and vegetables are good sources, even organ meats such as liver are a good source of vitamin C. Most have heard of vitamin C as being beneficial for resolving colds quicker and for immune system support overall, but there are many more research-verified uses for vitamin C for both prevention and treatment, five are below.
1. Childhood depression. A study comparing the benefit of childhood antidepressant medication on its own, or combined with vitamin C found a much more significant decrease in depressive symptoms in children in the vitamin C group. The study appeared in the March 2013 edition of Nutrition Journal. This makes a lot of sense since many previous studies have found that antioxidant balance has an impact on neurologic and psychiatric disorders, and vitamin C alone impacts particular neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Note that vitamin C is the brains most abundant antioxidant. Theories also propose that antioxidants like vitamin C may reduce the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and behaviours that are linked to antidepressant medication in children and adolescents. Many other naturopathic treatment options exist for childhood depression, but this study provides hope for families of how to optimize childhood mental health.
2. High blood pressure (hypertension). A 2012 review study conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine researchers looked at many other research studies on the role of vitamin C in blood pressure. The authors concluded that vitamin C reduced both the systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. As little as 500mg a day can make a difference, but people may need more depending on their unique needs. Get your vitamin C tested so you know where you stand.
3. Hemorrhagic stroke. Besides immune support, it is known that the body also requires vitamin C for the production of collagen – a structural supportive protein – found in many tissues of the body, including within arteries and veins. It is no wonder then that a recent French study found that those with hemorrhagic stroke were deficient in vitamin C, and that those with normal levels of vitamin C were released in half the time from neurology care units compared to those with vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C also has a blood pressure reducing effect which may be another reason why stroke risk is reduced.
4. Cancer. Many studies are now showing the benefits of high dose (intravenous) vitamin C in cancer care. Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center published a 2014 study which found that intravenous vitamin C with concurrent chemotherapy reduced chemotherapy-induced toxicity in patients with ovarian cancer. Another study published in 2012 in the journal Anticancer Drugs looked at the effect of high dose vitamin C in prostate cancer tissues and found that 5 out of 6 types of prostate cancer cells responded well from vitamin C, particularly against hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Other studies have shown potential benefits of high dose vitamin C in a variety of tumour types such as breast, stomach, brain, colon, pancreas, bladder, kidney, lung, thyroid, skin cancer, B-cell lymphoma, etc.
5. Anxiety in Diabetes (type 2). Those with diabetes are prone to anxiety, depression and stress. It is known that those with diabetes have a higher level of free radical (oxidative) stress, and may benefit from antioxidants. A 2013 study conducted in Iran tracked 45 people with type 2 diabetes and found that those taking vitamin C supplements experienced a significantly reduced level of anxiety.