How Can Vitamin C Improve Your Skin?

With all these serums on the market and the articles in beauty magazines, the message is clear: Vitamin C can benefit your skin. Here are five ways that Vitamin C — when taken orally — can support the look, feel, and overall health of your skin.

citrus and vitamin c serum

Vitamin C For Skin Care

Natural Sunscreen

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which means it fights the effects of harmful free radicals that form when your skin is exposed to the sun. It also protects against the skin damage that can occur from ultraviolet radiation, including sunburns, pigmentations and redness. If you do get a sunburn, Vitamin C can accelerate the healing process.

Supports Prevention of Skin Discoloration

A study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal determined that Vitamin C shields your DNA from everyday photochemical reactions that lead to skin discoloration and age spots. If you already have age spots, taking Vitamin C supplements and applying Vitamin C-infused skin creams could help diminish their appearance.

Essential for Collagen Production

Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and other connective tissues. It helps your skin appear firm, smooth and vibrant. Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of collagen, regulating its synthesis in your body. If you don’t consume enough Vitamin C, your body’s collagen levels will decrease, making your skin appear looser and more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Maintains Healthy Skin Texture

Collagen is an important structural component of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to your skin. Vitamin C also promotes the rapid renewal of skin cells, a process that helps your skin feel soft and smooth. Without Vitamin C, your skin would lack moisture and nutrients, causing it to become dull, rough and dry.

With the numerous beauty creams and serums lining the skincare aisles, there is a bit of a misconception that Vitamin C must be applied topically for skin support. The reality is that the aforementioned actions occur at a cellular level, meaning you can reap the skincare benefits by taking Vitamin C orally — through diet and supplements. You can get beauty from the inside out. So, before filling your medicine cabinet with expensive beauty products, try stocking your fridge with citrus, leafy green veggies, bell peppers, berries and some top-notch Vitamin C supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Vitamin C Dosage: How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

Did you know that humans are one of the few mammalian species on Earth whose bodies cannot produce Vitamin C? Lucky for us, and not the primates and guinea pigs who also do not make Vitamin C, we know we need to get this essential antioxidant through diet. What we often don’t know is how much we need each day. And that’s because there are just so many recommendations out there.

According to U.S. government guidelines, adult women should take 75 mg of Vitamin C each day, and adult men should take 90 mg. To complicate the matter, many experts recommend a Vitamin C dosage of between 200 mg and 1,000 mg daily, or even more, to achieve maximum benefits.

vitamin c food sources

The goal of daily Vitamin C intake is to attain optimal saturation levels in the blood and tissues. However, measuring those levels can be complicated. Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that excess portions are flushed out in your urine. Different organs and bodily fluids have different Vitamin C retention capabilities. The adrenals, brain, eyeballs and prostate can retain high levels of Vitamin C, while blood plasma retains less. The problem is that medical professionals often use blood plasma to test the body’s overall Vitamin C levels, which can produce misleading results and differing opinions on daily intake requirements.

So how much vitamin c should you take each day? Authorities have varying opinions, but the majority seems to favor Vitamin C dosage in the range of 200mg to 500mg per day. They also suggest breaking up daily vitamin consumption into two or three doses. This allows your body to receive Vitamin C in waves, counteracting vitamin loss through the urine. There is also some consensus that older adults, smokers and lactating mothers should consume more vitamin C.

Vitamin C is safe to consume. Since it’s water soluble, you can’t overdose on it. Just watch out if you’re taking more than 2,000mg a day, as you may experience some uncomfortable digestion issues. If you experience an upset stomach or diarrhea, you should be able to find quick relief by lowering your Vitamin C intake.

No matter how much Vitamin C you decide is best for you, try to get it from a variety of sources throughout the day. Take a Vitamin C supplement with breakfast, enjoy some fresh berries at lunch and dark leafy green vegetables and maybe even another supplement at dinner. Remember that fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of Vitamin C.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Surprising Sources of Vitamin C

Our bodies rely on Vitamin C to perform so many important functions, functions, like neutralizing free radicals within our cells. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. That means that, although our bodies require it to perform vital functions, our cells can’t produce it. A nutrient-dense diet is the most efficient to get Vitamin C, and it’s a lot tastier and more colorful than you think. After all, oranges aren’t the only source of Vitamin C

sources of vitamin c

Bell Peppers
A single cup of chopped bell peppers can provide your body with 100 mg of Vitamin C. Compare that to the approximately 70 mg of vitamin C from a medium-sized orange! One thing to note is that your choice of cooking method can affect the vitamin C content that you actually consume. Unlike vitamin C supplements that always deliver the same amount of milligrams, fresh produce can gain and lose milligrams through the cooking process.

Broccoli
A favorite among cruciferous vegetable enthusiasts, one serving of raw or steamed broccoli provides as much as 132 mg of Vitamin C.

Kiwi
A little but mighty fruit, Kiwi is rich in potassium, copper and Vitamin C.  A serving of approximately two kiwi fruits will give you as much as 137 mg of Vitamin C, no cooking necessary.  

Vitamin Supplements
Sometimes you just might not be able to get your hands on enough fruits and veggies to meet your body’s demands for Vitamin C. Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C supplements can deliver up to 200% more of this essential nutrient than previously thought possible with oral supplements. While eating Vitamin C-rich foods is always the tastier, more enjoyable option, supplements are a convenient way to keep your body fortified.

Between the citrus, berries, peppers and cruciferous vegetables, there’s a source of Vitamin C for every taste. Vitamin C supports the body in so many vital processes; make sure you’re getting enough through diet and supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1 Hickey S., Roberts H, Miller N, (2008), “Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C” Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine July 31.

Strive For Optimal Health With These Vitamin Combinations

Did you know that certain vitamins work together to create a synergistic effect that enhances your body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients to their fullest extent? As you work toward reaching optimal health, consider combining these vitamins and minerals to get the most out of your healthy diet and supplementation regimen.

vitamin combinations

Black Pepper and Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is known for its effect on metabolism and energy. However, the process of extracting vitamin B12 from food can get complicated for your body. Your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the digestive enzyme pepsin to free the B12 from the food source. The B12 then combines with a special protein that protects it during the journey to the small intestine where it is finally absorbed. Black pepper contains piperine, a special alkaloid that helps your body absorb more of the B12 once it hits the intestine.

Iron and Vitamin C

Iron deficiency can lead to a variety of health issues, including anemia. Iron comes in heme and non-heme forms, and Vitamin C can increase your body’s absorption of non-heme iron. Heme iron, such as that found in meats, is more easily absorbed by your body than non-heme forms that come from plant-based foods. For this reason, many people prefer to take Vitamin C supplements, like our  Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, when they consume non-heme sources of iron.

Vitamin A and Iron

Vitamin A is known for helping cell reproduction, healthy vision and proper growth. You can get this fat-soluble vitamin as retinyl palmitate through your diet; most of it is stored in your liver until it is ready for use. Your body can also convert beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables into vitamin A. Supplementing with Vitamin A may also have a beneficial effect on iron deficiency, with a combination of supplemental Vitamin A and iron being more effective than either supplement by itself.

Knowing how to combine certain vitamins allows you to get the most nutrition from your diet. While all vitamins support the body’s ability to perform various important functions, it’s always nice to be as efficient as possible. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Signs You May Be Vitamin C Deficient

Vitamin C is one of the most important water-soluble vitamins that you should include in your daily diet. You can’t store vitamin C, so make sure you’re eating foods rich in Vitamin C every day. If you’re an adult, the FDA currently recommends at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day. Some studies, however, indicate optimum doses are much higher – closer to 1,000 milligrams a day. For doses that high, you need to take vitamin C supplements.

signs of vitamin c deficiency

It’s tough to monitor micronutrient intake, so you may not even know you’re not getting enough Vitamin C on a daily basis. If you’re chronically low, your body will let you know with several symptoms of a Vitamin C deficiency.

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Minor bleeding, such as nose bleeds, or easy bruising.
  • Dry, split hair due to inadequate collagen.
  • Slow wound healing. Vitamin C promotes collagen development in scar tissue.
  • Iron deficiency. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, so low vitamin C and low iron levels often coexist.
  • Fatigue and mood changes. Vitamin C affects energy production and helps stabilize your moods.
  • Weight gain. You have less energy when vitamin C levels are low, so you are less likely to exercise regularly or vigorously.
  • Swollen, bleeding gums. A symptom of scurvy, this occurs in advanced cases when you’ve been low on Vitamin C for at least six months.

Confirming a Deficiency

If you’re concerned that you’re Vitamin C deficient, you can get a blood test to measure the level of ascorbic acid in your blood. A level above 0.6 mg/dL indicates you’re getting enough Vitamin C. Levels of less than 0.3 mg/dL indicate a deficiency.

Vitamin C is readily available in many fruits and vegetables. While citrus may come to mind first, you can also find a high density of Vitamin C in strawberries, papaya, bell peppers, tomatoes and even cauliflower. And some of the most bioavailable Vitamin C supplements are just a click away.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Everyday Foods That Are Power-Packed with Vitamins

Vitamins are important to your health – affecting multiple biological processes that help you see, build your blood and bones, and support natural hormone production. Many foods contain more than one vitamin and certain foods are the optimum choice for a particular vitamin. Here are the best choices to make sure you meet your daily vitamin needs.

vitamin rich foods

  • Vitamin A – important to maintain healthy immunity and vision. Best food sources: beef, carrots, sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B6 – helps metabolize foods, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, make antibodies and promote red blood cell production. Best food sources: Chickpeas (garbanzo bean), fish, bananas.
  • Vitamin B12 – promotes healthy DNA and red blood cell formation and keeps the nervous system healthy. Best food sources: beef, poultry, cheese.
  • Vitamin C – supports healthy immunity and skin. Best food sources: sweet red peppers, potatoes, citrus fruit.
  • Vitamin D – helps promote bone and cell growth, and aids in calcium absorption. Your body makes it from sunlight. Best food sources: cod liver oil, milk, and fish.
  • Vitamin E – supports a healthy immune system and blood vessel function. Best food sources: wheat germ oil, leafy green vegetables, and nuts.
  • Folic Acid (Folate) (Vitamin B9) – folate promotes the healthy growth of new tissue and proteins. Best food sources: beef liver, asparagus, spinach.
  • Vitamin K – required to help the blood clot. Best food sources: kale, cabbage, eggs.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) – helps convert food into energy. Best food sources: turkey, peanuts, beef.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – used to support natural energy creation and healthy blood cells. Best source: beef liver, lamb, milk.
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – necessary for energy from carbohydrates and helps promote nervous system function. Best source: soybeans, yeast extract, green peas.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Keep Your Food Vitamin C-Rich With These Cooking Tips

keep your foods vitamin c rich

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is water-soluble. This means that many of the most common cooking methods, such as boiling, can cause the vitamin to leach out of food. While this does pose a few challenges for increasing your intake, it is possible to alter your cooking strategies to keep more vitamin C in your food, while also using supplements to make up for any of ascorbic acid that is lost in the process. Check out these strategies for keeping your food rich in this essential vitamin so your next meal delivers more nutrition.

Choose Foods That Do Not Require Cooking

Some of the best sources of vitamin C require little to no preparation. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that allow you to eat the food in its raw form so that no vitamins are lost through cooking.

For example, bell peppers, mango, kiwi, and berries can all be consumed raw during any meal.

Try Cooking Without Water

Pan-frying, roasting, and searing are all cooking strategies that do not involve using water to soften foods. Although the food may still lose some vitamins, it is typically less than you would lose with a method that uses water. These methods can also enhance the flavor of your food, depending upon which one you choose. For example, roasting vegetables tend to give them a sweeter taste while softening their skins. Stir-frying retains more of the crispness and imparts a flavor that more closely resembles what you enjoy from eating raw vegetables.

Consider Using Less Water

does heat destroy vitamin c

For recipes that require the use of water, you can try using a method that reduces the contact that the water has with the ingredients.

For instance, blanching requires the food to sit in the water for less time, and this method is ideal for softening ingredients such as bell peppers. Steaming is another strategy that allows the heated water to gradually soften the produce without removing all of the vitamin C.

The cooking methods you choose play a big role in how much nutrition you get out of fresh ingredients.

Give a few of these strategies a try during your next several cooking sessions to find the ones that fit your taste and texture preferences the best.

Which Vitamins are Water Soluble?

water soluble vitamins

Vitamins from the food you eat are digested and transported through the body. The description fat-soluble or water-soluble indicates whether the substance can dissolve in fat or water. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue, and excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted through the kidneys. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K.

water soluble vitamins

Here are the vitamins that are water-soluble:

  • Biotin – Vitamin B7, helps your body produce energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein.
  • Folate – Vitamin B9, used to create DNA and help keep red blood cells healthy.
  • Niacin – Vitamin B3, supports healthy digestion and skin.
  • Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5, supports cellular energy production and hormone secretion.
  • Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, helps you metabolize the foods you eat and improve the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.
  • Thiamine – Vitamin B1, critical for keeping nerves healthy and promoting proper nerve transmission.
  • Pyridoxine – Vitamin B6, promotes chemical reactions in the body by acting as a coenzyme; supports metabolism of nutrients and promotes a healthy nervous system and immune system.
  • Cobalamin – Vitamin B12, promotes metabolism, red blood cell health, and immune system and nervous system health.
  • Vitamin C – promotes immune system health and is required to make collagen, an important and plentiful protein used to keep blood vessels, bones, skin and teeth healthy.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Scurvy Symptoms: It’s 2018, But You Might Have Scurvy

Scurvy isn’t something people typically think of unless they’re learning about pirates or watching an old film. The disease, which is caused by a severe deficiency in vitamin C, is typically associated with the 15th to 18th centuries. However, it may still be prevalent in our modern society.

Symptoms of scurvy include:

  • loss of teeth
  • bleeding sores
  • eroding gums
  • skin rashes
  • anemia
  • and more

These symptoms occur because vitamin C is a necessary component in making collagen, which is essential to connective tissues. Vitamin C is also needed for mood stabilization because it aids in synthesizing chemicals such as dopamine, which are needed for positive mood and energy.

You may be at risk for scurvy if you don’t eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, have an eating disorder, have a restrictive diet, or use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco excessively. The elderly are also at an increased risk of developing scurvy because of weakened immune systems.

In 2003 and 2004, researchers for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study collected data about vitamin C levels in the general population, and approximately 7 percent of people had deficiencies so low that they were considered at scurvy levels.1

The disease often affects people who are left out of typical studies, the poor and mentally ill. This may be because people in poverty often have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce tends to be more expensive than processed foods such as bread and rice, so people living in poverty may not be taking in the levels of vitamin C they need to remain healthy.

Scurvy is also found at higher numbers in people with mental illness because some mental illnesses lead to unhealthy eating habits.

For example, in 2010, doctors from Springfield Baystate Medical Center treated a man who came into a hospital with bleeding gums, bruises, and severe fatigue. He had a mental illness and had only eaten white bread and American cheese for years. This led to severe vitamin C deficiencies, which led to scurvy, according to Doctor Eric Churchill.2

The doctors who had studied that man’s case at Springfield Baystate Medical Center tested 120 patients with similar symptoms, and 29 of them turned out to have scurvy level deficiencies.2 Cases like these show the importance of having a balanced diet and intake of plenty of vitamins.

Another example is a different patient of Doctor Churchill’s, who ate mainly pizza, Chinese takeout, and burgers and fries. When he was diagnosed with scurvy he was surprised, because he didn’t feel that his diet was that out of the ordinary. But, as he learned, even getting some vegetables into your diet doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get scurvy.2

Everyone absorbs vitamins at different rates. Some people naturally absorb and retain less nutrients from their food than others. These people are at a particular risk of getting scurvy because even if they’re eating what would be enough vitamin C for one person, it may not be enough for them. This is why supplementation may be an important routine to adopt.

Even having vitamin C levels that are low, but not low enough to get scurvy, can be problematic. When you have low vitamin C levels it starts affecting your mood, energy, skin, and overall health. Some less noticeable and less severe warning signs of a vitamin C deficiency are:

  • easily bruising
  • dry scalp
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • inflamed or swollen joints
  • irritated gums
  • and more

To get an adequate intake of vitamin C on a daily basis, incorporate foods that are high in vitamin C in your diet, like oranges, kale, bell peppers, and kiwi. It is best to consume these raw and fresh for optimal vitamin absorption.

If you’re concerned about your vitamin C level, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can help you understand the levels of many nutrients in your blood.

Understanding nutrition and balanced eating is one key to a healthy life. I bet you’ve heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an orange a day keeps the scurvy away.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  1. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/5/1252.abstract
  2. http://digital.nepr.net/news/2015/05/25/not-just-for-pirates-and-sailors-scurvy-diagnoses-mount-in-springfield-clinic/

The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

Whether you have recently experienced a change in your health or are dealing with a great deal of fatigue, it is possible your body’s stores of B vitamins have fallen below normal levels. Vitamin B complex supplements contain nutrients such as thiamine and riboflavin that help support a healthy lifestyle by giving your body what it needs for optimum functioning. Although these nutrients are commonly found in food, it is possible that your body runs through its stores too fast, especially when you are ill or under a lot of stress. As you explore ways to improve your health, keep the benefits of vitamin B complex in mind to determine if you need a supplement.

Support a Health Energy Level
Fatigue is a common sign that your vitamin B levels are deficient, and taking a supplement may be a better option than using caffeine or sugar to give you a quick boost. Unlike caffeine, B vitamins do not cause you to “crash” later. Especially if you choose a vitamin B complex source that does not contain sugar.

Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Each component of a vitamin B supplement plays an important role in how your body functions. For instance, thiamine helps to convert food into energy, and it is essential to have enough of this vitamin in your system to ensure this process occurs correctly. When your blood sugar levels are already healthy, B vitamins help you maintain healthy levels by supporting proper digestion of food and transporting nutrients where they are needed the most.

Support Your Weight Loss Efforts
When your body is running optimally, it is easier to maintain a healthy weight. The symptoms of vitamin B deficiency such as fatigue may cause you to skip workouts or give into food cravings in an attempt to feel better. Replenishing these stores of vitamins help to increase your ability to lose weight and keep it off as you begin to feel more energized.

When you know that something is off with your energy levels, don’t turn to temporary methods such as caffeine to lift you up. Instead, have your doctor check your B vitamin levels and choose a long-term solution that benefits your overall health.