Vitamin C is probably the most famous of the vitamins. It gets a lot of good press for its role in wound healing, bolstering the immune system and as a powerful antioxidant. Why is it the most popular vitamin? My guess is that when mankind entered its seafaring years, vitamin C was used to stave off scurvy. Sailors would be stuck at sea, subsisting mainly on salted meats and bread. Scurvy is pretty terrifying nutritional deficiency caused by a lack of vitamin C, so ships started carrying stores of fruits and/or vegetables. And although they didn’t know what vitamin C was until the 20th century, many pre-historical cultures figured out that fruits and veggies were the key to ridding the scurvy scourge although they didn’t understand why the plants worked. When they found out that it was vitamin C that was clearing up all that scurvy, the vitamin won the hearts and minds of people everywhere. This is why vitamin C is the golden boy of vitamins. Or at least, that’s my theory.
Today, people are still discovering the full value of vitamin C. This month, a study out of Denmark published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has linked vitamin C to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a reduced risk of an early death. Researchers looked at the fruit-and-veggie-eating habits and DNA of over 100,000 Danish people and determined that those folks who ate the most fruits and vegetables reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by fifteen percent and and their risk of an early death by twenty percent. The researchers believe that these health benefits come from the fruit-and-vegetable-sourced vitamin C concentrations they saw in the subjects’ blood.
“We know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but now our research is pinpointing more precisely why this is so. Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables is a natural way of increasing vitamin C blood levels, which in the long term may contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. You can get vitamin C supplements, but it is a good idea to get your vitamin C by eating a healthy diet, which will at the same time help you to develop a healthier lifestyle in the long term, for the general benefit of your health,” says Boerge Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and a consultant at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
BarleyLife Xtra provides 34% of your daily vitamin C from plant sources (mainly acerola cherries) in every delicious serving. Receive all the whole-body benefits of your favorite green juice with the sweet taste of cherry! Plus, chicory and a host of other wonderful fruits and vegetables.
If you like nutritional meta-analyses, then have I got a treat for you. Two separate papers (one for each gender) were published this year (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, International Journal of Stroke) that reviewed the relationship between magnesium, potassium, calcium and the likelihood of strokes.
The study on women published in the AJCN, took a look at the two Nurses’ Health Studies, the biggest and longest-running investigations into what factors influence female health. The Information in this study comes from over 200,000 nurses-participants. During the 30 years of the study, over three thousand strokes were reported. The research indicated that women with the highest intake of magnesium reduced their risk of stroke by 19% when compared to those who had the lowest levels of magnesium. Those with the highest potassium levels saw 11% reduction in stroke risk when compared to those in the lowest potassium strata. Finally, those women who had the highest levels of potassium and magnesium reduced their risk of stroke by a whopping 28%. Calcium did not seem to affect stroke outcome either way.
The second study looked at male over 40,000 male participants in the Health Professional Follow-Up study, and the results were similar:
A diet rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium may contribute to reduced risk of stroke among men. Because of significant collinearity, the independent contribution of each cation is difficult to define.
The AIM Companies offers fine, transdermal magnesium in a spray, lotion or in bath crystals. For potassium, we carry Red Rush which contains 20% of your daily potassium needs.