Vitamin C is more than a cold killer, it protects against cardiovascular disease, and even prevents wrinkles. Forget the plastic surgeon and take vitamin C!Vitamin C does some pretty amazing things, from boosting the immune system to increasing collagen production, the main structural protein found in connective tissue. It helps ward off infection, maintains healthy bones and teeth, and quickens the body’s natural ability to repair wounds. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder there are thousands of vitamin C supplements out there to make sure you are getting your daily dose. However, you may be a putting yourself at risk for deficiencies rather than benefiting from taking this essential nutrient, and here is the reason why.When it comes to vitamin C supplementation, it is more than likely you are consuming ascorbic acid rather than actual vitamin C. Isn’t that the same thing? You ask. Contrary to popular belief, ascorbic acid and vitamin C are not the same thing because ascorbic acid is not a complex vitamin, but rather only the outer layer of the complete complex known as vitamin C. The best example of this is comparing it to an egg; ascorbic acid only represents the protective outer shell, and not what’s inside.In one hand, you have the natural form of vitamin C complex, as found in raw fruits and vegetables, and contains additional components (the inside of the egg). These include vitamin J, K, P and an enzyme known as terrosenase. All of the above elements must be present in order to be considered vitamin C and for the body to absorb and benefit from the vitamin complex.On the other hand, synthetic vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is not found in nature. Rather it is developed in a lab and does not contain the other components; therefore, it is not complete. Since synthetic ascorbic acid does not contain the full complex, your body must either gather the missing components from the body's reservoir, or simply eliminate the ascorbic acid from the body through the urine without benefit. This is where taking a supplement can become problematic. Long-term use can lead to deficiencies from repeatedly needing to pull from your body in order to use the supplement.The best way to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk is to get your vitamin C through your diet by eating raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day. However, if you do want to get a supplement to help get your recommended daily intake make sure they are of a high quality. Since this vitamin breaks down and becomes useless when heated (hence the raw recommendation above), look for a supplement that has been cold pressed processed from natural food sources. This will assure you are getting both your body and dollar’s worth.
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