11 October 2013

The Case of Vitamin C

According to popular belief, we need to consume a certain amount of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C (or take vitamin C supplements), to be healthy and to prevent chronic diseases. After a bit of research, I think that our need for vitamin C does not depend on the amount of fruits and vegetables we consume, but on the sugar and carbohydrates content of our diet.

Article: Vitamin C May Aid People with Diabetes
"Previous research has shown that diabetics have higher requirements for vitamin C than healthy people."                        
Type 2 diabetes is a result of high sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption over a long period of time. This means that sugar somehow is preventing the utilization of vitamin C in the body. 

In fact,
"Vitamin C, which has a chemical structure similar to that of the common sugar glucose, appears to compete with glucose for entry into cells. When the blood glucose level is elevated, as in diabetes, more vitamin C than usual is needed in order for the vitamin to perform its functions in the body. In experimental animals, vitamin C deficiency causes hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)."
When we have high glucose levels, vitamin C is not "seen" by our immune system. To treat this, doctors recommend diabetic patients to take more vitamin C than average healthy individuals. It might help, but the underlying cause is elevated glucose levels and not vitamin C deficiency. Simply reducing sugar in diabetic patients diet, thus reducing their glucose level, would make the whatever little amount of circulating vitamin C available for their cells.

This theory is very well illustrated by populations who consumed minimal plant food, yet were free of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency):
It is true that scurvy can be overcome by consuming plant food rich in vitamin C, but it does not mean that it is caused by the absence of these foods. It is much more likely caused by the presence of sugar and carbohydrate in our diet.

No comments:

Post a Comment