What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a potent water-soluble vitamin with an impressive array of biological functions.  Acting as an antioxidant, Vitamin C plays an invaluable role in protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage.  Only when LDL is damaged does cholesterol appear to lead to heart disease, and Vitamin C is believed to be the vanguard of antioxidant protectors of LDL.  Vitamin C also reduces the stiffness of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together, which is believed to be key in protecting against heart disease. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C are also believed to protect against the free radicals found in second-hand smoke. Vitamin C is a solid component in the foundation of the immune system, assisting in wound healing and acting as a natural antihistamine. The other elements of this antioxidant’s immune enhancing power include aiding in the formation of liver bile and helping to fight viruses as well as detoxifying alcohol and other negative substances in the body.

 

How does it work?

New research published in Cleveland Clinic’s Urology News shows that abnormal amounts of free radicals, naturally occurring but sometimes dangerous molecules that can damage cells, may be responsible for infertility in some men. It is believed Vitamin C has the power to neutralize sperm-busting free radicals.

 

Where does it come from?

Broccoli, red peppers, currants, brussel sprouts, parsley, potatoes, citrus fruit and strawberries are good sources of Vitamin C.

 

Safety / Side Effects

Some people may develop diarrhea after as little as a few grams of Vitamin C per day, while others are not bothered by ten times this amount.

 

Studies Involving Sperm

Thirty infertile but otherwise healthy men were given a placebo, 200 mg, or 1000 mg vitamin C daily.  After one week, the group receiving 1000 mg/day had a 140-percent increase in sperm count, while there was no change in the placebo group. The 200mg/day group had a 112-percent increase in sperm count, while both groups demonstrated significant reductions in the number of agglutinated sperm. Most importantly, by the end of the 60-day study every participant in the vitamin C group had impregnated their partner, while no pregnancies occurred in the placebo group. (Dawson, et al, 1992)

 

Interactions

Certain medicines may interact with Vitamin C.  Consult with your physician or pharmacist to determine if any of your medications might interact with this supplement.

 

References

Dawson EB, Harris WA, Teter MC, Powell LC. Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the sperm quality of smokers. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555. Fertil Steril. 1992 Nov;58(5):1034-9.