Podcast - Vitamin C
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
Dr Okojie talks about the importance of Vitamin C in the diet and its beneficial effects.
Episode: Vitamin C
The following is a transcript from Dr Okojie’s Movement is Medicine podcast. Book your appointment with Doctor O today.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Movement is Medicine podcast with Doctor Okojie. I'm your host, Doctor O.
I wanted to touch on vitamin C again, today. It's quite popularly known for its antiviral effects and its effects on the immune system. But I wanted to run through some common conditions and pathologies that vitamin C is helpful in order to just let everyone know that it's a vitamin that they should be getting heavily in their diet, whether it be through supplementation or through natural foods. I'm just going to run down the list and whether or not you have these conditions or not, again, it's just to show how important vitamin C's role is in our body.
So with regard to adrenal fatigue, the adrenals are the tissue that have the highest amount of vitamin C in them. So vitamin C supports the adrenals and reduces cortisol and as we know, cortisol plays a role in weight gain in and with stress and with inflammation as well. So it's very, very common in helping with adrenal fatigue. That's something that's getting quite popular being more popularly known with regard to asthma. Vitamin C dilates the bronchial airways, which is of course important asthma. And it helps in the production of epinephrine, which is used to help people who are having severe asthma attack with wheezing and to mitigate some of the effects of a severe asthma attack.
Moving down the list here with regard to diabetes, it helps to lower haemoglobin A1c and it helps to lower glucose two hours postprandial, so your glucose (your blood sugar) after a meal taking vitamin C over time helps to lower that post meal glucose post meal blood sugar and the haemoglobin A1c which is the marker of how we diagnose diabetes. Vitamin C is very important in that.
With regard to dyslipidaemia, or any type of cholesterol are lipid issues and protects the bad cholesterol the LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, the low-density lipoprotein, it protects that cholesterol from being oxidized. And when this bad cholesterol is oxidized, it's basically what clogs the arteries. So having an adequate amount of vitamin C protects this cholesterol from being oxidized, which can help to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis or clogging of the arteries.
With fatigue, as we know vegans or vegetarians know vitamin C helps with the uptake of iron and the transport of iron and it's also a precursor to carnitine. And a lot of people take carnitine now for weight management and to help shuttle fat away from the tissues and into the liver. So, you'll see a lot of weight loss formulas or people are trying to lose weight they'll be taking carnitine and vitamin C helps with the production of carnitine.
So it's quite important and as I said, if you're a vegetarian or vegan and you're trying to increase your iron, you can only get your iron from vegetables so vitamin C is needed to help with the absorption of that vegetable iron. With regard to gastrointestinal health or GI gut health, vitamin C plays a vital role in inflammation. So, if your gut is inflamed, for whatever reason, celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, your gut will use up more vitamin C. So, more vitamin C is required for an inflamed gut. It also helps to heal any gut tissue that's been damaged by any one of those conditions plays a major role in that.
With regard to hypertension or high blood pressure- vitamin C increases nitric oxide, which is a pretty strong vasodilator. Vasodilators are things that expand the blood vessels. So, if you have hypertension or high blood pressure that sometimes the blood vessels too constricted and when the blood comes in, there's too much tension so vitamin C increases nitric oxide, which helps to relieve that tension on the blood vessels and which can in turn help to lower blood pressure.
Vitamin C also plays a key role in sports nutrition. It helps to reduce post workout soreness, it also helps to reduce cortisol. Again, that systemic inflammatory marker that I spoke about earlier. Vitamin C helps to reduce that level of cortisol which is often increased after a hard workout or exercise period. Vitamin C is also required for collagen synthesis. It helps to protect muscles from injury or from being sprained or strained. So, it's a plays a key role in exercising, I mean, if you're moving your body in any way on a consistent basis, you do need vitamin C.
So those are just some of the ways that vitamin C plays an important role in the body. Common question that I get is what are good sources of vitamin C, and people often know that oranges or fruit are really good sources of vitamin C, but a quick Google search will lead you to a variety of foods that are loaded with vitamin C. Kale has a great amount
of vitamin C, kiwi is one of them. A number one source of vitamin C - Baobab fruit is a great source of vitamin C. Parsley and cherries, broccoli and sweet peppers are all great source of vitamin C.
So basically, if something has color in it, it's typically are probably going to have a good amount of vitamin C in it. And if you're looking for vitamin C, and you're eating fruits and vegetables, you're probably going to get it. Those of us who have pathologies or diseases or conditions that require increased amounts of vitamin C, like if you're going through a viral infection, if you have a gut inflammation from irritable bowel syndrome, if you have hypertension, if your cholesterol is high, if you're suffering from adrenal fatigue, if you're suffering from sleep apnoea, if you've been diagnosed with any one of these conditions, and you know you need higher levels of vitamin C, then you can certainly supplement them intravenously through an IV drip-you can get high dose of highly absorbable vitamin C this way. You could also take it orally.
Another beautiful thing about vitamin C is that it's easily and readily absorbed through the gut and the absence of any gastrointestinal pathology that would cause you not to be able to absorb it. But if you're typically if you're if you're absorbing things pretty well then you can get large amounts of vitamin C orally and higher than you think vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin so it's quite hard to overdose on vitamin C or take too much vitamin C. But of course, you should get with your doctor to determine how much vitamin C is appropriate for you and your condition.
So, I hope this was helpful today. Feel free to check out any of the previous Movement is Medicine podcast. You can find us on Instagram or online at www.okojiewellness.com to learn and find out about all things wellness and stay tuned for upcoming podcasts.