In recent months there have been some conflicting reports in the news about the benefits of some vitamins and antioxidants. For those of you who have had some weak moments following this, possibly doubting the value of nutritional supplementation, an article has recently been published that should re-energize your positive feelings about the need for antioxidants.
In the current edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers in Great Britain randomly selected individuals between the ages of 75 and 84 years old for a clinical trial. Over 1,200 participants provided an initial blood sample and were interviewed about their dietary habits. These individuals were then followed for a median of over four years.
At the conclusion of the study, it was found that those individuals who had the highest blood levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) reduced their risk of dying by almost 50% compared to those individuals who had the lowest blood levels of ascorbate. The conclusion of the study was that low blood vitamin C concentrations in the older British population were strongly predictive of mortality.
Think about that for a moment. You can possibly reduce your incidence of mortality by almost 50% by having higher levels of ascorbic acid in your blood. This is not the first study to show such benefit. In a twenty year follow-up study also performed in Great Britain, there was a 30% reduction in death rates from stroke in those individuals with higher levels of blood ascorbate.
Other clinical trials have clearly demonstrated that ascorbate levels in the blood of smokers are significantly lower compared to that of non-smokers. The reason for this is probably that smokers produce a higher amount of free radicals that cause heart disease and cancer when compared to non-smokers, consequently depleting their vitamin C levels in the blood by fighting these free radicals.
There are literally hundreds of companies that sell vitamin C in the market. However, only a minority of those companies utilize Ester-C which is a patented form of vitamin C that is pH neutral and gentle on the stomach. Whereas ordinary vitamin C is typically excreted after about two or three hours, Ester-C is retained in the body for approximately ten to twelve hours. It is estimated that 500 mg of Ester-C is equivalent to taking 2000 mg of ordinary ascorbic acid.
Sure, you could use a cheaper form of vitamin C, but if you want the best vitamins supplements then that is recommended. For those of you who are interested in taking supplemental Ester-C during times of physical or emotional stress, look for a product that also contains bioflavonoids and quercetin for additional antioxidant benefits. In fact, there are studies published in medical journals indicating quercetin provides dramatic risk reductions for heart disease and stroke. WOW, what a combination!
There are also several excellent products that include a large dose tablet and chewable and liquid forms for children and those that cannot swallow pills. I don’t know about you, but after reading this study I am certainly not going to miss taking my vitamins.
References & Further Reading: