When we think of vitamin C, we typically think of its presence in fruits and vegetables, and the deadly disease that occurs when we don’t get enough—scurvy. However, most of us don’t realize that vitamin C deficiency is the 4th most common nutrient deficiency in the United States. While that doesn’t mean that we all have scurvy, it does mean that we are depriving ourselves of a highly important nutrient with numerous health benefits.
Vitamin C (in the form of L-ascorbate) is one of the most abundant molecules in every living cell. It is the premiere water-phase antioxidant, and plays many important roles within the body. For example, it’s essential for the synthesis of collagen (a major protein in the body), neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, as well as the amino acid carnitine. As an antioxidant, L-ascorbate protects cells from free-radical damage by donating electrons that protect and energize every cell. Additionally, when combined with select minerals, ascorbate functions as a great alkalizing agent to help your body achieve an ideal pH balance.
Wonder if you could benefit from more vitamin C? Find out by taking our quick Vitamin C Quiz!
The Alkaline for Life Simple Vitamin C Quiz
Check off the following signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency to help determine if you are experiencing low levels of vitamin C:
- Black and blue easily
- Bleeding gums
- Immune weakness, tendency for colds or infections
- Slow wound healing
- Excessive pain and inflammation
- Weak bones
- Rough, bumpy skin
- Corkscrew shaped body hair
- Spoon-shaped fingernails
- Red spots or red lines on fingernails
- Dry, damaged skin
- Persistent iron anemia
- Fatigue and poor mood
- Unexplained weight gain
- Vision loss from macular degeneration
The more signs and symptoms boxes you checked, the more likely it is that you lack vitamin C.
If you checked one the first three Vitamin C Quiz items, you are one of the 20 million Americans who have serious vitamin C deficiency.
If you checked any of the other boxes, you are part of 66 million more Americans who may develop the deficiency depending on their health habits and disease status.
For example, smokers, those on estrogen supplements or birth control pills, diabetics, pregnant women, those taking aspirin and various other drugs, and those with chronic infection, toxin exposure, or high stress have increased need for vitamin C.
So, vitamin C is a very important nutrient with many functions and the wise person wants to have plenty of it on board. When thinking of vitamin C however, it is good to keep two things in mind:
- Vitamin C has a very short half-life within the body. For a few hours our blood level rises and then returns to baseline.
- As an antioxidant, vitamin C is used up quickly by some people and not so quickly by others. This depends on the amount of exposure to toxins, viruses, pollutants, etc.
Ideally one would like to have a reservoir of vitamin C that provides for constant flow of this antioxidant and the constant flow of electrons which vitamin C provides. Below I discuss a simple urine test that can help detect if you have enough vitamin C to excrete some in the urine. This means you have a reserve that you can call on whenever needed.
A Simple Urine Functional Test for Vitamin C Adequacy
Having constant availability of vitamin C is essential for optimal health. Your vitamin C status is easily accessible using a simple urine dip stick test.
Tips for Supplementing with Vitamin C
Remember, not all vitamin C products are the same. The form, the source, and the processing are essential factors to consider when deciding what to take. The form of vitamin C used within the body is the “L-ascorbate” form. The most ideal ascorbate is a pure ascorbate, fully buffered with selected minerals, and carefully processed under a blanket of nitrogen to protect it from oxidizing. This is the form of vitamin C we have found to be most potent and effective.
Vitamin C Awareness Campaign - Let us mail you a free test!