You can find Vitamin C in a number of different forms – powders, crystals, tablets, time-released tablets, etc. Vitamin C is the most widely studied and most understood vitamin today. Calcium ascorbate is vitamin C chelated or joined to calcium, a mineral. Calcium is not just any mineral, but a very important one in the body. Not only does it strengthen the bones, it is needed in the clotting of the blood, the function of the immune system, the flexing of our muscles and the alkaline reserve of the body’s delicate biochemistry. The combining of vitamin C with calcium improves its absorption through the intestinal wall thereby increasing its more rapid bioavailability.
Although vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most popular vitamin supplement in the USA, it is probably one of the most controversial. Not in the essential role it plays in human nutrition, but in just how much we need daily. The RDA is 60 – 100 mg and while this is the least amount we need to prevent a deficiency of vitamin C, it is not nearly enough to unleash its antioxidant potential. Since humans do not manufacture vitamin C, we have suffered throughout history from a disease called “scurvy.” The symptoms of scurvy, or a deficiency of vitamin C are poor wound healing, bleeding gums, capillary fragility and extensive bruising. In addition, our susceptibility to infection, hysteria and depression is also increased.
The primary function of vitamin C is in the formation of collagen, which is the main connective tissue protein of the body. More specifically, vitamin C aids in the formation of hydroxyproline from proline. This results in the very strong and stable connective tissue we call collagen. Vitamin C is also critical to immune function, the manufacture of certain nerve transmitters, hormones and the absorption and utilization of other nutritional factors. Further, it is the body’s first line of antioxidant defense, both preventing the formation of and the scavenging of destructive free-radicals. Vitamin C is also nature’s antihistamine, stabilizing the “mast cells” in the body.
In order to do justice to vitamin C and all of its wonderful functions in the human body, we would need a novel of some 300 pages.
The starting antioxidant dosage is 1000 – 2000 mgs, but as with any supplement, always ask your natural health care provider.