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Immune System Supplementation: The Benefits Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant. It is a water soluble vitamin, which means that the body cannot store it. Vitamin C deactivates free radicals in blood plasma, as well as the fluid between the body's cells, and other water-soluble areas of the body. Equally important, it has the power to restore vitamin E to its original form after that vitamin has been converted to an oxidized form. A substantial body of evidence shows that vitamin C reduces cardiovascular disease. Other studies have found that vitamin C helps to reduce the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing the concentration of HDL (good cholesterol).

Vitamin C may also be instrumental in the recovery process after a strenuous workout. It has been found that vitamin C works to neutralize high levels of cortisol that is released into the bloodstream during a heavy workout session. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle fibers and helps to convert them to fat. Vitamin C can be taken in very high doses without experiencing negative side effects. Because it is a water soluble vitamin, the body will not store it. Studies have shown that vitamin C in amounts ranging from five to ten times the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) are found to be safe. Furhtermore, the same studies suggest that a death rate from heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases can be 42% lower for people who take daily doses of vitamin C.

Other studies have shown that by taking 1000mg of vitamin C before a heavy workout, a significant reduction in muscle soreness can be achieved. In addition, the same 1000mg of vitamin C is also beneficial in helping to accelerate the body's recovery process.

It is also important to note that to allow vitamin C to effectively function, your water intake during the day must be of adequate amounts. A reasonable rule-of-thumb to determine the right amount of water intake is: bodyweight X 0.66 = ounces of water per day. Also ensure that you do not have a history of kidney stones as if you do, then it is not advisable that you take vitamin C in large quantities. As always, when in doubt, consult with your doctor.