Vitamin C Winter Super Powers – A Key To Men’s Health
Vitamin C is the key to remaining healthy during the cold and flu season.
Vitamin C is what comes to mind when the cold and flu season hits. In fact, it’s what comes to about 48% of men’s minds according to a recent article in Men’s Health Magazine, and has little competition.Out of 834 men, 5% said they fight off illness with Echinacea and another 5% with Zinc, and if you can believe it, 42% said they do nothing(1).
Energy Sourcing And An Immune System Boost: Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin found in orange juice and a variety of “health foods” that during the cold season, can help prevent common bacterial infections. Vitamin C affects several components of the human immune system. Vitamin C works by stimulating the production and function of leukocytes, or white blood cells including neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes.
What the heck are those? Neutrophils attack foreign bacteria and viruses and studies have shown them to be the primary cell type stimulated by vitamin C. Vitamin C also stimulates lymphocytes and phagocytes, which offer additional protection from the cold and flu. These cells accumulate vitamin C in high concentrations, which protect these cells and other cell types from oxidative damage. In response, invading organisms including toxins, superoxide radicals and pathogens are killed off and leukocytes are protected. Luekocytes produce and release compounds called cytokines, which have antiviral activity to help reduce infections and the presence of interferons, which gives the power of vitamin C even more gust0 (2). Similar to the powers of energy sourcing superheroes like Nexus, vitamin C increases existing sources of protection and coverts others into other forms for superior protection.
Superhuman Free Radical Scavenger: Vitamin C is widely known to boost the functions of the immune system, and clinical trials show that it may also protect against viral infections and perhaps other diseases. Studies suggest the biological possibility of vitamin C as an immune enhancer, and the works of Linus Pauling have stimulated public interest in large doses of Vitamin C, or “mega-doses” to prevent the common cold. Numerous placebo-controlled trials have examined the effects of vitamin C supplementation for the treatments of colds and analysis of 30 prevention trials found that vitamin C supplementation in doses up to 2 grams per day did not decrease the incidence of colds. However, in a subgroup of marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers training in the Artic, doses ranging from 250 mg per day to 1 gram a day decreased the incidence of colds by 50%. Overall, the preventive use of vitamin C supplementation reduced the duration of colds by about 8% in adults and 14% in children. This suggests that vitamin C is most effective when individuals are under stress, such as exposure to cold weather, or extreme exercise (2). This may be due to the abilities of vitamin C as an antioxidant, which seems to increase when the body creates free radicals. During intense exercise the body produces waster produces, and the cellular waste called free radicals, can damage cells and weaken the body’s natural defense system. Does this mean that vitamin C actually becomes superhuman? Maybe you won’t notice the energy beams and force field, but its powers appear to improve.
If you are out enjoying the cold weather, vitamin C is a good choice for keeping infections away. The cold and flu can hit you after a long walk home in cold wind, skiing, ice fishing or just while getting cozy so be smart and increase your dose of vitamin C with healthy foods like oranges or broccoli, and pick up a Vitamin C supplement today. For a “Mega Dose” try Emergen-C, or for superior vitamin C protection, a Vitamin C with Rose Hips and Bioflavonoids.
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