Vitamin C and Metabolic Syndrome

Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C. With its powerful antioxidant properties, vitamin C has been the subject of a growing body of medical research. A recent study published in Redox Biology journal looked at the effects of vitamin C on patients with metabolic syndrome.

What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome occurs after the body is subjected to a diet high in saturated fat over a long period of time. It results in chronic inflammation, with a cascade of symptoms that include high blood sugar, low levels of good cholesterol/high levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure, and abdominal obesity. As the body’s systems are compromised, it is less able to absorb vitamin C and other antioxidants, which leads to a vicious cycle of oxidative stress.

• Metabolic stress begins to destroy the gut lining, leading to leakage;
• The body’s own defenses attack the leaked material;
• The white blood cells also destroy vitamin C.

“If there’s too much fat in the diet, it causes injury to the gut. Bacterial cell walls can then leak from the gut and slip into circulation in the body, and they’re chased down by neutrophils,” a researcher told Science Daily.

The researchers from the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Ava Helen Pauling Professor at Oregon State’s Linus Pauling Institute conclude that eating even more fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and other antioxidants is even more important for patients with metabolic syndrome.

“People with metabolic syndrome can eat the same amount of vitamin C as people without metabolic syndrome but have lower plasma concentrations of vitamin C.”

Vitamin C
The moral of the story is, get enough vitamin C to protect your gut – and other majory bodily functions – and if your system is compromised by metabolic disorder, you may need more than the recommended amounts to get its antioxidant benefits.

Daily recommended vitamin C intake:
Age / Male / Female
0–6 months – 40 mg / 40 mg
7–12 months – 50 mg / 50 mg
1–3 years – 15 mg / 15 mg
4–8 years – 25 mg / 25 mg
9–13 years – 45 mg / 45 mg
14–18 years – 75 mg / 65 mg
19+ years – 90 mg / 75 mg
Smokers: Individuals who smoke require 35 mg/day more vitamin C than nonsmokers.

The upper limit is 2,000 mg a day, and it’s recommended that you get your vitamin C through eating whole foods rather than supplements.

• One lemon provides about 31mg of vitamin C, or about 1/3 to 1/2 of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
• One orange provides about 51mg of vitamin C, or about 2/3 to 3/4 of the RDI.

Please note that we do not intend to give medical advice, and anyone should consult their treating medical professional before embarking on a new diet or lifestyle regimen.

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