(NaturalHealth365) The benefits of vitamin C are many, and include protection and treatment for cancer, infections, scurvy, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, cataracts, and the common cold. Not surprisingly, vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps to heal wounds, control asthma and maintain elasticity of the skin. But, now, (as if we need another good reason to LOVE vitamin C) researchers have proven that this crucial vitamin can help to reduce toxic levels of lead in the blood.
Lead toxicity can lead to neurological damage in children and adults. However, in high doses, vitamin C can reduce lead blood levels. These results were discovered by the University of California at San Francisco and were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Editor’s note: We, at NaturalHealth365, can only hope that the residents of Flint, Michigan (or any other community overexposed to lead) will read the rest of this article.
Vitamin C supplementation helps to produce profound health benefits
The researchers found a direct correlation between high levels of vitamin C and lower blood levels of lead. These results have major public health implications for combating lead toxicity, especially in developing children.
The study looked at data from a national analysis of 19,000 persons ranging from adults to children six years of age. Children in the top one-third of vitamin C blood levels had a stunning 89 percent lowered incidence of lead toxicity. Adults were shown to have blood lead levels reduced by up to 68 percent with high vitamin C intake.
While lead use has been banned for over 20 years, it had been included in gasoline, paint, products and building components. Despite the ban, people can still come into contact with it in older buildings and products. Lead has been linked with mental retardation in children exposed at a young age. Lead exposure can come from deteriorating paint, dust and contaminated soil.
No amount of lead is safe for humans
A joint University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center study confirmed these results, estimating that over a million Americans could currently have elevated blood lead levels.
There is no acceptable or safe level of lead for humans – which makes the vitamin C findings so valuable. Since the human body does not produce vitamin C on its own, consuming vitamin C-rich foods and vitamin C supplements regularly is crucial to getting enough.
At least 1,000 mg daily vitamin C required to reduce lead levels and produce other benefits of vitamin C
The current ‘Recommended Daily Allowance’ of vitamin C of 60 mg (the amount in an average sized orange) is far too low. In many cases, at least 1,000 mg per day will be required to experience health benefits. For example, cigarette smokers lose 25 mg of vitamin C – per cigarette – creating a much greater need for vitamin C on a daily basis.
Fortunately, there are few if any negative side effects of taking large amounts of vitamin C. For instance, digestive discomfort, from too much vitamin C intake, can quickly be resolved by reducing the quantity taken at a given time. However, this is important to understand, doses as high as 25,000 mg daily (and often much greater) are usually required to be effective in fighting major issues like, cancer and systemic infections.
Another important ‘rule of thumb’ is: The greater the sickness, the greater the need for vitamin C.
Overall, vitamin C is a safe, potent antioxidant that supports the immune system and many aspects of health. Top food sources include citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, cabbage, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, pineapple, and kiwi fruit. But, generally speaking, supplementing with 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day (or more) will offer added protection against lead toxicity and other immune-related health issues.
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