Vit. C: low levels linked to high levels of Lead
As you know, vitamin C is a very important vitamin. This water-soluble vitamin has numerous health benefits including the treatment of cancer, heart diseases, stroke, cataracts, infections, scurvy, common cold, and hypertension. It is also known for its ability to help strengthen the immune system, aid quick wound recovery and helps maintain elasticity of the skin.
Recently researchers have discovered that vitamin C can significantly help to reduce toxic levels of lead in the blood.
Lead, a ubiquitous heavy metal found everywhere in our environment has no known physiological role in biological system. The heavy metal is known for its ability to cause various irreversible health effects such as affecting the central nervous system, hematopoietic, as well as causing serious disorders in the hepatic and renal system.
Even though the use of Lead has been banned for more than 20 years, it is still been included in some products such as paints, gasoline, building products and building components. People can also come in contact with this heavy metal in older buildings and products. Lead exposure can occur from dust, contaminated soil, as well as deteriorating paint.
Lead toxicity can have serious neurological effects both in adults and in children. Thankfully research has discovered that lead blood levels can be significantly reduced with a high dose of vitamin C. These results which were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) were discovered by the University of California at San Francisco.
No amount of Lead is Safe for Humans
A recent report presented by a joint University of California, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and San Francisco, estimated close to a million Americans may currently have high levels of lead in their blood.
Since the body does not produce vitamin C on its own, it becomes important that we regularly get enough of this vitamin from our foods – vitamin C rich foods and supplements.
Profound Health Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation
Various studies and research have discovered a direct link existing between high levels of vitamin C and reduced levels of lead in the blood. These results have generated a huge health implication for fighting lead toxicity, especially in young children. The research report drew up its data from a national analysis of up to 19,000 adults and young children of six years of age combined. It was noticed that children in the top one-third of vitamin C levels in the blood had a stunning 89% reduced incidence of lead toxicity. Adults, on the other hand, were also found to have up to 68% reduction in blood lead levels with high vitamin C intake.
How much vitamin C is needed to reduce lead levels?
It’s unfortunate that the current Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C of RDA of 60mg, which is the amount we can get from an average sized orange, is far too low to combat lead toxicity. Hence, it has been recommended that a minimum of 1000 mg daily intake of vitamin C should be encouraged in other to see any significant health benefits from this vitamin intake. This amount of daily vitamin C intake may be higher in some individual, for instance, a cigarette smoker will require more quantity of this vitamin on a daily basis because in one cigarette smoked, 25mg of vitamin C is being lost.
Are there any side effects of taking a large number of vitamin C?
There are usually no or very little side effect with dosage levels of 1000 - 3000 of vit. C intake. In larger doses a mild digestive discomfort may be experienced but this can quickly be resolved by simply reducing the quantity of the vitamin C. Treatment for cancer and systemic infection generally use a clinical dose of 25,000 mg taken intravenously.
What are the sources of vitamin C?
Top sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, cruciferous vegetables, berries, cabbage, pineapple, leafy greens, and kiwi fruit. However, we can always spike up our advantage over lead toxicity by supplementing with 1000- 3000mg of vitamin C on a daily basis.