Archive for VItamins/supplements

The Importance of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most commonly taken vitamins. However, there is still a large percentage of people who don’t get enough. Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the body and protects it’s cells from free radical damage. In addition to that, it is also used by the body to produce collagen – an elastic substance, which makes more than 50% of your skin and blood vessels.

Long-term effects of a chronic vitamin c deficiency

Many people today are afraid of high cholesterol. Why? Because it leads to heart disease and arteriosclerosis. However, this is not the whole truth. The reason why high cholesterol is suspected to increase the chance of dying from a heart attack is simple – the cholesterol builds up on the walls of your arteries and as a result – a plaque forms. This causes blood vessels to become more and more narrow, until they barely let any blood through.

Vitamin C has a big implication in this – cholesterol doesn’t build up on the arterial walls, just because it is ‘high’. It does so in order to repair a damage in the structure of the wall. One of the most common causes of such damage is a chronic low-level deficiency of vitamin c, which in turn slows down your body’s production of collagen and other several other, vital to the circulatory system organic chemicals.

Multivitamins vs. Taking Vitamins Separately

I am a big proponent of taking vitamins separately. There are many reasons for that and I will now list some of them:

Zinc or Zinc Aspartate?

Many people don’t look at the form of the vitamins in most multivitamin supplements. For example, zinc aspartate and magnesium aspartate are two often used forms of magnesium. Unfortunately, they break down into aspartic acid, which is certainly not the best thing for you. When buying your vitamins separately, you can choose exactly which form of which vitamin or mineral you want.

Dosage

Most people don’t need doses as high as in most multivitamins, especially when it comes to B-vitamins. Although those vitamins are water-soluble and have no established toxic levels, Is taking 50 times the normal dose of a certain vitamin healthy? By normal dose, I mean the dose you can obtain from food. I don’t think so and don’t see a point in doing so. In addition, many multivitamins will have low levels of magnesium and vitamin D, which are both extremely important. A part of the reason why is cost – B complex vitamins are the cheapest and it is no coincidence that many multivitamins include more than 3000% RDA of them, especially if they are designed for athletes.

Minerals?

On the other hand, taking minerals together seems to cause no issues at all. I would advice against men taking iron supplements, as they have been linked to a variety of complications and liver problems. Women on the other hand menstruate, which is ho why get rid of excess iron in their body.  The problem with getting your minerals from food is the depleted soil, especially in the US. Magnesium is a prime example of this and less than 30% of people get their RDI.