If you’re like most people, you probably don’t connect vitamin C with your heart… but this overlooked nutrient is essential for optimal heart health.
For decades, this vitamin has been deemed unnecessary and ineffective.
But you can’t live without it. And it’s one of the reasons you don’t see heart disease in animals as much as you do in people.
Because every animal on the planet – except people, primates, guinea pigs, and fruit bats – can make its own vitamin C.
In fact, it’s the reason guinea pigs are… well, used as guinea pigs. They can easily be made sick because they don’t make their own vitamin C.
It’s a human weakness that we don’t make it.
And that’s bad news, considering how little vitamin C we get from our food these days.
Researchers estimate — and I agree — that if our bodies still made vitamin C, we would produce about 5,000 mg daily. Today, we’re lucky if we get 200 to 300 mg.
In a minute, I’ll explain how you can protect yourself.
But first, look at the latest research on using vitamin C to strengthen your heart and slow aging.
- Vitamin C is an effective scavenger of ALL of the worst free radicals that can break down and damage the tissue in your heart.1
- Your body uses vitamin C to build collagen and elastin, the supportive proteins in your tissues, especially your blood vessel walls. Without vitamin C, your heart would fail, and your blood vessels would fall apart.
- Vitamin C also helps you produce amino acids that regulate the nervous system – keeping your heart beating for a lifetime.
Studies also link low vitamin C levels directly to stroke risk.
A 10-year study of more than 2,400 men found that those with the lowest vitamin C intake had a greater risk of stroke than men with higher levels.2
In fact, the researchers found that taking vitamin C had a stronger impact on the risk of stroke than being overweight or having high blood pressure.
Don’t Ignore The Anti-Aging Benefits Of Vitamin C
But vitamin C has another benefit we’ve only discovered recently…
A Japanese study tested vitamin C’s effect on telomeres. They discovered that raising the level of vitamin C in the cells could slow down the shortening of telomeres up to 62%.3.
This resulted in a significant extension of cellular lifespan and a reduction in the physical changes associated with cell aging.4
In a separate study, researchers at the University of California analyzed the vitamin C intake and death rates of more than 11,000 men and women.5
The study showed a dramatic decline in death from heart disease among the men with the highest vitamin C intake.
I recommend almost every patient I see at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging increase their vitamin C intake. Unfortunately, taking a drugstore supplement just won’t cut it.
When you take a vitamin C supplement, your body can only absorb 500 mg at a time — and that’s nowhere near enough. I deliver high-dose IV therapy to my patients. IV therapy can safely deliver up to 5,000 mg of vitamin C in about an hour.
IV therapy allows the nutrient to bypass your digestive system and go directly into your cells. And bioavailability is 100%.
If you’re interested in IV vitamin C infusion, call my practice at 561-784-7852. My staff is happy to schedule an appointment for you.
Three more ways to boost C and protect your heart
Citrus fruits aren’t the only good source of vitamin C. In fact, there are a lot of foods that have more of this heart-saving vitamin than the orange. Here are three of my favorites:
- Acerola Cherry. I call this little berry the queen of all fruits. Every 100 grams has 1,678 mg — more than 30 times the vitamin C of strawberries. Here in Florida, we can grow organic berries all year. But if you don’t live in an area where you can grow this shrub, I suggest supplementing with an organic dried powder mixed into a sweeter drink to offset the slightly bitter taste.
- Goji Berry. When you compare goji berries and oranges weight for weight, goji berries provide up to 500 times more vitamin C. They are also a rich source of zinc. Research at Case Western Reserve University has shown that zinc can shorten the length and severity of a cold.6 Zinc deficiencies are more likely to occur as we age.
- Camu Camu. This South American berry is a rich source of vitamin C at 2,700 mg per 100 g. It has 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. I like adding dried powder to smoothies or yogurt. Start with one teaspoon a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Wang Y, et al. “Plasma and dietary antioxidant status as cardiovascular disease risk factors: a review of human studies.” Nutrients. 2013; 5 (8), 2969–3004.
2. Kurl S, et al. “Plasma Vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke.” Stroke. 2002 Jun; 33(6):1568-1573.
3. Furumoto K. et al. “Age-dependent telomere shortening is slowed down by enrichment of intracellular vitamin C via suppression of oxidative stress.” Life Science. 1998;63(11): pp. 935-48.
4. Kim YY, et al. “Anti-aging effects of vitamin C on human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.” Age (Dordr). 2013;35(5):1545-57.
5. Enstrom JE, et al. “Vitamin C intake and mortality among a sample of the United States population.” Epidemiology. 1992 May; 3(3):194-202.
6. Hulisz D. “Efficacy of zinc against common cold viruses: An overview.” J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2004;44(5):594 603.