Did You Know Vitamin C Did All of These Things?!

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Raena Morgan: Hi, I'm Raena Morgan visiting with doctor Benjamin Weeks.  He is a professor of biology at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.  What is vitamin C?  I mean we all think vitamin C, we know what it is, but what is it and why supplement with it?

Dr. Benjamin Weeks: Well, that's a good question.  Vitamin C is actually an important vitamin in a variety of different systems in your body.  As a vitamin, it helps many different biochemical processes occur throughout your body.  The reason we need to take vitamin C is because we don't make it.  Our bodies don't make it.  The only way we can get vitamin C into our body is to take it.  And we need it to run these chemical reactions in our body.  So, for example, the central nervous system, when it comes to dopamine production, requires vitamin C.  Skin health, collagen production, requires vitamin C.  The immune system is stronger when there's healthy levels of vitamin C in the diet.  Cardiovascular system, all these systems, cholesterol metabolism, all these systems require vitamin C and we don't make it so you need to supplement with vitamin C if you want to be healthy. 

Morgan: It's such a common vitamin, that most of us don't think about how important it is. 

Weeks:  Yes, absolutely, it is indeed important in a wide range.  Early, we knew it was important for skin health.  But now we know it's important for the central nervous system, cardiovascular system and immune system as well.

Morgan: How about things like berry, berry and scurvy?  I mean that's how it all came about, right?

Weeks: That's right.  That's absolutley right.  That's the collagen production in the gums with scurvy.  And that's also the collagen production in the skin.  Collagen is about one third of your body protein.  So one third of your body protein is collagen.  And the synthesis of that collagen requires vitamin C.  

Morgan:  And we must take in vitamin C.  We cannot manufacture it in our bodies.

Weeks:  That's right.

Morgan: All right, thank you doctor Weeks.

Weeks: You're welcome. 

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Many of us think vitamin C can help us prevent or fight off things like colds and other conditions. But do you really know all the things that vitamin c does in your body? Dr. Benjamin Weeks discusses the number of things vitamin c does as well as why we need to take it to make sure we have enough.

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