Vitamin C and Modern Life: Do You Need to Supplement?

The environment which we live in has advanced quicker than our bodies have been able to adapt. Over the past 100 years, the world has evolved at a rapid rate. Through wars, the industrial revolution and now the technological revolution we have shifted from hunters and gathers, to agricultural societies and now to city life. 

The body has a lot more to deal with in present times- yet we are equipped with the same physiology and internal mechanisms of 100 years ago. We have a higher toxic exposure, and experience more mental and emotional stress due to our high paced lifestyles. When we take this into consideration, we can see the probability that nutrient deficiencies mirror modern circumstance. 

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, meaning it must come from the diet as the body cannot synthesize it. When vitamin C deficiency is present, a condition called scurvy arises. The symptoms are loss of teeth, hair, bleeding gums, skin rashes and wounds that are slow to heal. Scurvy is not likely in the modern population, but it showcases the fundamental need for Vitamin C in foundational health. 

Aside from prevention of scurvy, vitamin C serves several other functions in the body. 

What is Vitamin C Needed for? 

Immune Function

Vitamin C plays a host of critical roles in the immune system, both innate and acquired. Vitamin C is responsible for the facilitation of 20 immune functions including but not limited to antibody production, white blood cell support and lymphocyte health.

Stress, insufficient amount of quality sleep and subpar dietary patterns can contribute to a suppressed immune system. Given these are part of modern life to some extent, vitamin C supplementation is clinically proven to be beneficial in modulating immune function! 

Free Radical Scavenging 

Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage DNA and proteins in the body. They cause oxidative stress, which is thought to be an underlying cause of many chronic illnesses. Antioxidants are needed to “pair up” with the free radicals and make them stable, aka, unable to do damage. 

Among others, free radicals come from pollution, pesticides, stress, medications and alcohol.

While there are many antioxidants, vitamin C is revered for its potent ability to scavenge free radicals, and improve the ratio between them and antioxidants that is often imbalanced. 

Collagen Production 

Being the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is an integral part of the body. It prevents wrinkles, bone degradation, maintains blood vessel integrity, promotes muscle health and keeps the digestive lining intact. 

Vitamin C is known as a cofactor in collagen production. It marries together two amino acids to form collagen. A lack of vitamin C will give way to the breakdown of all the aforementioned tissues contributing to advanced aging. 

Collagen is sensitive to free radicals, making vitamin C’s role in maintaining collagen two fold. 

Vitamin C as an Essential Nutrient 

Unlike many mammals’ humans cannot synthesise vitamin C. In some animals that produce vitamin C, production increases 13 fold when under stress. This indicates the importance of increased vitamin C in our modern world that is full of physical, chemical, mental and emotional stressors. 

When it comes to Vitamin C, it is hard for the body to absorb large doses. This is because the same proteins that transport glucose in the body are needed to bring vitamin C from the digestive system into the blood. Oftentimes these proteins are in short supply, making the absorption of vitamin C low. Most vitamin C supplements from pills and powders  gets excreted in the urine due to this transport mechanism. Additionally, if there is too much vitamin C in the intestine, it draws water into the colon. This causes loose bowel movements, making it difficult to high dose conventional supplements.

Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C is wrapped in a fat bubble called a phospholipid. This means that the vitamin C gets absorbed as a fat, not a vitamin- increasing absorption and enabling the intake of high, bioavailable doses. For context 1,000 mg Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C = 3-4,000 mg of powder! 

It is not possible to pinpoint the cause of disease to one factor. However, research shows that supplementation with vitamin C leads to better health outcomes. Our modern environment increases the need for vitamin C in the body, which would be hard to obtain through diet alone. Supplementing with 1-2 sachets of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C is a great way to practice preventative health and help your body to thrive- on all levels! 

Author: Lisa Kowalyk, CNP, B.Kin

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