Tag Archives: Vitamin C

About Supplemental Forms of Vitamin C

Vitamin CJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient critically important for many biological functions. Notably, vitamin C acts as cofactor for a number of enzymatic reactions, including collagen, carnitine and catecholamine synthesis, as well as wound healing and neurotransmitter production. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C strengthens the body’s natural defenses by scavenging damaging free radicals, thereby providing protection against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage. In fact, vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant. Adequate daily intake of antioxidants like vitamins C and E is vital to combat the pro-inflammatory effects of free radicals. Several epidemiological studies have found that vitamin C may protect against coronary heart disease and gout, diseases with inflammatory components. Higher blood levels of vitamin C are associated with lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a substance produced by the liver associated with overall and cardiac-related inflammation.

Unlike other mammals, the human body is unable to synthesize vitamin C, meaning it must be obtained through vitamin C-rich foods or through daily supplementation. Even in small amounts, vitamin C protects indispensable molecules including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids from free radicals, as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Generated through normal metabolism and immune cell activity, as well as exposure to toxins and pollutants, ROS have the potential to wreak havoc on a broad range of macromolecules when produced in excess. Though the debate continues, overall evidence shows that regular intake of sufficient vitamin C may shorten the duration of, but not cure, the common cold. Additionally, by enhancing intestinal absorption of non-heme iron, Vitamin C increases the bioavailability of iron obtained from the diet. Plasma levels of vitamin C are tightly controlled by intestinal absorption, tissue transport and renal reabsorption.

Supplemental forms of Vitamin C explained:

Ascorbic acid: Ascorbic acid is the biologically active form of vitamin C found naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. It may also be obtained through extended-release capsules, lozenges, chewable tablets, powders and in liquid form. Vitamin C plays important roles in the growth and repair of all bodily tissues including skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It aids in the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth, as well as wound healing and scar tissue formation.

Mineral ascorbates: Less acidic, and therefore less irritating to the gastrointestinal tract than other forms, buffered mineral ascorbates are often recommended to those with intestinal issues. With mineral ascorbates, both the mineral and the ascorbic acid appear to be well absorbed. There are many forms available for those wishing to increase individual mineral intake along with vitamin C, including potassium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese and molybdenum. Sodium ascorbate is milder than ascorbic acid and more stomach friendly but may not be suitable for those on a low sodium diet for high blood pressure. As well, those who are taking potassium-sparing diuretics or those with renal insufficiency should avoid significant intake of potassium ascorbate.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Research suggests that vitamin C and bioflavonoids have a complementary effect. Naturally occurring plant-derived antioxidant chemical compounds known collectively as polyphenols, flavonoids work synergistically with vitamin C. Flavonoids may affect the transport of vitamin C throughout the body and may also influence the absorption and utilization of vitamin C. In addition, vitamin C with flavonoids may offer additional protection against coronary heart disease, as well as protect nerve cells from damage.

Ascorbates and vitamin C metabolites (Ester-C®): Ester-C® contains calcium ascorbates as well as small amounts of vitamin C metabolites, such as threonate, shown in studies to increase the bioavailability of vitamin C.

Vitamin C insufficiency can be seen in approximately 40 percent of the U.S. adult population. Smokers and those with diets deficient in fruits and vegetables are advised to increase consumption of vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries and kiwi, as well as cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Daily high quality vitamin C supplementation can help ensure adequate intake of this vitally important essential nutrient.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality vitamin C supplements in support of overall health:

Pure Ascorbic AcidPure Ascorbic Acid by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formula provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C as ascorbic acid per serving. Necessary for connective tissue heath and the maintenance of bones and teeth, this essential nutrient provides powerful antioxidant support for cellular and overall health. Also available in powdered form. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Vitamin C plusVitamin C + by Professional Supplement Center®ON SALE Vitamin C + provides high potency buffered vitamin C as well as bioavailable mineral cofactors and bioflavonoids for optimal absorption and utilization. Vitamin C is provided in ascorbate form to inhibit stomach irritation. Gluten free vegetarian formulation.

Ester-C® FlavonoidsEster-C® and Flavonoids by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formula provides vitamin C as calcium ascorbate enhanced with flavonoid compounds to help maintain a healthy immune system, blood vessel integrity and cellular health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Overview of Inflammation: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/inflammation
Vitamins C and E: Beneficial effects from a mechanistic perspective. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156342/
The Bioavailability of Different Forms of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C/supplemental-forms
Free Radicals and Reactive Oxygen. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/topics/radicals.html
Vitamin C: Sources & Benefits: https://www.livescience.com/51827-vitamin-c.html
Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
The Benefits of Taking 500 mg of Buffered Vitamin C. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-taking-500mg-buffered-vitamin-c-10912.html

Eye Health Support

EyeHealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSNDesigned as an adjunct to a healthy diet, researched backed nutritional supplements have been shown to be beneficial for the maintenance of vision and eye health. Ongoing research continues to explore health protective nutrition in prevention of age-related eye changes that can cause visual disturbances and the loss of visual acuity. Beginning around age 40, adults may start to notice vision changes, such as an inability to focus on near objects, the need for brighter lights in reading or work areas, and changes in color perception, as well as reduced tear production, resulting in dry, irritated eyes. As we continue to age, the risk for developing eye and vision problems increases. Early warning signs of eye health problems can include:

Vision fluctuation – Vision that fluctuates throughout the day can be attributed to several causes, including general fatigue, eye muscle spasms resulting from intense focusing for an extended period, or progressing presbyopia, a common age-related inability to focus on near items, such as a newspaper or menu, especially in dim light.

Eye floaters and flashes of bright light – Specks or thread-like images that appear in the field of vision are generally harmless and may become less noticeable with time. Floaters indicate that the vitreous humor, a gel-like substance that makes up a large majority of the eye behind the lens, is slowly shrinking with age, creating strands that cast their shadows on the retina. Flashing occurs when the vitreous gel tugs or bumps the retina. Although floaters and flashers can be annoying, they are generally considered harmless. However, a new onset of floaters or increased flashes can signal more serious vision problems, such as retinal detachment or a retinal tear, requiring a visit to your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Loss of peripheral vision – Peripheral or side vision is the ability to see movement and objects located outside your central or direct line of vision. Also known as tunnel vision, loss of wide angle vison is commonly the result of optic nerve damage, resulting from glaucoma, a detached retina, brain or neurological damage or a head injury.

Distorted images – Wavy or blurred images or loss of central vision may be signs of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among adults aged 50 and older. Although there are exceptions, macular degeneration generally progresses slowly. The greatest risk factor is aging, making regular comprehensive eye exams crucial for seniors. Additional risk factors include diabetes, genetics, and side effects of medications taken for chronic conditions.

A colorful and varied diet, rich in omega-3 fats, whole fruits and dark green leafy vegetables is emphasized for eye, vision and overall health. As well, protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light, avoiding smoking, reducing screen related eye strain, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight along with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, may help to prevent macular degeneration or slow its progression. Age Related Eye Disease (ARED) studies revealed that antioxidant multivitamins can help to protect against progression to advanced stages of macular degeneration in those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

Poor diet resulting in inadequate nutrition is associated with many serious health conditions including vision loss. Research shows that vitamins and nutrients that help reduce inflammation and control oxidative stress are beneficial for maintaining eye and vision health and may offer protection from degenerative diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. Well known for its supportive role in healthy vision and prevention of night blindness, vitamin A helps to protect the cornea and mucous membranes of the eye surface, helping to reduce the risk of eye infections.

B Complex vitamins help to reduce chronic inflammation and elevated homocysteine levels associated with retinal vascular problems. B vitamins may also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect the eye lens by preventing oxidation, which can result in a clouded lens associated with cataract formation.

Vitamin D sufficiency is associated with a lower risk of macular degeneration, while a deficiency is strongly associated with dry eye and its level of severity.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are found in the eyes. Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health and reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are among the most important nutrients for proper visual development, retinal function, and life-long eye maintenance. DHA is found in the highest concentration in the retina. Omega-3 deficiency is linked to dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration. Essential fatty acids help to restore and maintain tear formation and eye lubrication.

Bioflavonoids are pigments responsible for giving plants, fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. These biologically active antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds aid the absorption of vitamin C, help increase antioxidant efficiency, and support capillary health, including eye capillaries.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements and nutraceuticals in support of eye and overall health:

Vision ProtectVision Protect™ by LuxVite Naturals – Ophthalmologist formulated with ingredients based on the ARED2 study, Vision Protect™ contains antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, lutein, and zeaxanthin, providing eye health support for macular degeneration. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Doctor's Choice™ Eye...Doctor’s Choice™ Eye Formula by Enzymatic Therapy – This vitamin, mineral and botanical formula provides comprehensive nutritional support for eye health and healthy vision. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

ProDHA Eye 1000 mgON SALE ProDHA Eye® by Nordic Naturals – This synergistic blend of purified pharmaceutical-grade fish oil provides a high concentration of DHA, plus antioxidant vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin in support of healthy vision and moisture levels, as well as age-related oxidative damage protection. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Eye & Body Complete ...Eye and Body Complete™ by BioSyntrx – This full-spectrum, balanced, whole body nutritional formula provides superior active ingredients to support vision function, macular and retinal health, and address vascular-related inflammatory diseases of the body and retina.

 

Lutein/ZeaxanthinLutein/Zeaxanthin by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides a high strength carotenoid blend of lutein and zeaxanthin to specifically support the macula and overall vision health and function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
What you can do about floaters and flashes in the eye. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-you-can-do-about-floaters-and-flashes-in-the-eye-201306106336
Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
Facts About Presbyopia. https://nei.nih.gov/health/errors/presbyopia
What is Macular Degeneration? https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration
Adult Vision: 41 to 60 Years of Age. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age?sso=y
Essential Fatty Acids, Omega 3. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/essential-fatty-acids?sso=y

 

Immune Boosting Strategies

Immune_StrategiesJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are seeking a path to vibrant health, look to a healthy, vigorous, hardworking immune system. When cold and flu season is in full swing, strategically supporting the immune response may help to prevent illness and promote healing. Throughout life, we encounter harmful microbes, and unfortunately, sickness and infections are inevitable. When our immune cells combat and destroy viruses and bacteria, it also builds antibodies against those specific pathogens, strengthening immunity for the long haul. As influenza is a highly contagious airborne virus, even those with a strong immune system may contract the flu. However, those with the most robust immune systems may recover faster and experience less complications.

The youngest among us, who have not had time to build immunity, and seniors, whose immune functions weaken with age, are not only more susceptible to winter colds, influenza and strep throat, but are more vulnerable to a wide range of complications as well. Complications can range from moderate conditions, such as sinus and ear infections, to the more severe life threatening complications of pneumonia and organ inflammation. Those with chronic conditions, such as asthma, as well as heart and lung diseases, are most at risk of experiencing a worsening of their health conditions triggered by the flu.

Per the National Institutes of Health, a compromised immune system simply cannot perform as well as a fully functioning one. It appears to be in everyone’s best interest to take positive steps to avoid winter maladies by initiating strategies to support the immune system throughout the immunity building phase and when naturally declining as part of the aging process. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can decrease the immune system’s ability to fight off illnesses. Good general health habits help keep the immune defenses strong and alert.

Sleep on it – There are times when many of us are guilty of skimping on sleep. Prioritizing sleep strengthens the immune response, while chronic sleep deprivation elevates inflammation- promoting chemicals, weakening and suppressing immune health. Regular sufficient sleep, which means seven to eight hours nightly, will support overall good health and help to keep the immune system in top fighting form.

Feed it – Feed your body a variety of nutrient-rich foods for long term healthy function. Include live cultured foods like a low-sugar organic yogurt or kimchi, traditional Korean fermented vegetables. Multi-strain probiotic supplements help to enhance beneficial intestinal microorganisms, which aids intestinal homeostasis, helps to keep inflammation in check and supports proper immune and gastrointestinal functions.

Work it – Exercise boosts the immune system by strengthening its ability to create antibodies and the white blood cells that fight off deleterious pathogenic invaders. Prioritizing 20-30 minutes each day for physical activity will help boost immune performance, as well as reduce tension and relieve stress.

Chill out – Long term stress taxes both the adrenals and the immune system, raising the risk for poor overall health and  suppressed immune reaction. By directly affecting the immune response chronically stressed, but otherwise healthy people, are more vulnerable to infectious and autoimmune diseases. Chronic stress acts as a trigger for anxiety and depression, and can bring about poor quality sleep, high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive issues.

Get happy – Chronic depression appears to increase proinflammatory cytokine activity and inflammation, negatively affecting immune health. Per the NIH, there is strong evidence that depression alters multiple aspects of immunity that may contribute to the development of several disorders and diseases.

Consider medicinal foods – Medicinal plants such as ginseng, astragalus, and garlic provide immune enhancing phytochemicals. As well, medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake, reishi and maitake, have antimicrobial properties that help support a balanced immune environment.

Address micronutrient deficiencies – Studies have linked deficiencies in zinc, selenium, folic acid and vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E to reduced immune function.

-Sufficient vitamin D plays several roles in supporting proper immune function, while a deficiency contributes to infection susceptibility.

-Zinc is essential for the proper development, maintenance and function of the immune system.

-Vitamin A helps regulate and support healthy development of immune cells.

-Vitamin C plays a variety of roles in immune function, including enhanced function of white blood cells and increased antibody levels.

-In addition to energy production, B vitamins support serotonin and neurotransmitter production, helping to reduce stress and improve mood.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support overall and immune health:

UltraNutrientUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This comprehensive, high potency, bioavailable formula includes core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, and standardized phytonutrient extracts providing exceptional broad spectrum nutrients for enhanced cardiovascular, liver and overall health support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Astragalus Max-V 500...Astragalus Max-V 500 mg by Douglas Laboratories – Used since ancient times in Traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus is widely known for its immune-stimulating properties. One capsule provides 500 mg of standardized astragalus in support of the immune, cardiovascular, renal and hepatic systems. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

SR-StaminaSR-Stamina™ by Iagen Naturals – This pharmaceutical grade blend of adaptogenic herbs and traditional botanicals provides ingredients known to increase stamina, enhance physical performance, and promote a healthy immune response, as well as decrease stress, anxiety and sore muscles.

L-PhenylalanineL-Phenylalanine by Metabolic Maintenance – This product provides support for the normal production of mood-elevating neurotransmitters and addresses physical discomforts by blocking a nervous system enzyme that amplifies pain signals. Excipient free, preservative free, vegan formulation.

Mushroom Immune...Mushroom Immune Defense™ by Source NaturalsON SALE This broad spectrum, high potency blend provides mycelia and extracts from 16 well-studied species of health supporting mushrooms in support of immune health. Vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
12 Strategies to Strengthen Your Immune System. http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/nutrition/strengthen-your-immune-system-zmaz10aszraw
Flu Symptoms & Complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm
Depression, Inflammation, Immunity and Infection. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/health-matters/200903/depression-inflammation-immunity-and-infection
Strengthen Your Immune System. http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/guide-to-essential-nutrients/strengthen-your-immune-system/