Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin essential to the body’s health and is
especially important for maintaining healthy skin. Also known as Ascorbic
Acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin.
Unlike most other animals, humans cannot make their own Vitamin C. With
Vitamin C playing a role in being part of more than 300 bodily functions, life
itself depends on daily replenishment. Its primary function is to maintain
Collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of skin, ligaments, bones and
teeth, and for the strength of blood vessel walls. In addition, Vitamin C plays
an important part in the absorption of Iron, which is necessary for the
formation of red blood cells. It also plays a role in the utilisation of Folic Acid,
one of the B-Complex Vitamins.
It is well noted that Vitamin C is destroyed by food preparation more than
any other nutrient. It is also well known that the body does not store Vitamin
C, but tends to excrete excess amounts.
Bioflavonoids are a companion to Vitamin C. Two of the most active forms
are Hesperidin and Rutin. Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered (less acidic) form
of Vitamin C.
Ester-C is a revolutionary form of Vitamin C. Metabolites in Ester-C help
the vitamin get into the bloodstream faster and in larger amounts with less
waste. In addition, these metabolites help the vitamin penetrate white blood
cells more efficiently. White blood cells are known to have very high levels of
Vitamin C which is required for their metabolism. This, in turn, influences
the white blood cells ability to perform their important role as a critical
component of the immune system.
Ester-C with its neutral pH, is naturally processed in purified water, not
solvents, and is proven to be better absorbed by the cells for maximum
protection of the immune system.
Other immune boosters include zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, E, Echinacea, Garlic and Ginseng.
The stress connection
Some researchers place animals into stressful situations, such as being trapped in a small space or being placed near an aggressive animal. Different functions of their immune systems, and their health, are then measured under such stressful conditions. On the basis of such experiments, some published studies have made the following claims:
Experimentally created “stressful” situations delayed the production of antibodies in mice infected with influenza virus and suppressed the activity of T cells in animals inoculated with herpes simplex virus.
Social stress can be even more damaging than physical stress. For example, some mice were put into a cage with a highly aggressive mouse two hours a day for six days and repeatedly threatened, but not injured, by the aggressive mouse — a “social stress.” Other mice were kept in tiny cages without food and water for long periods — a “physical stress.” Both groups of mice were exposed to a bacterial toxin, and the socially stressed animals were twice as likely to die.
Isolation can also suppress immune function. Infant monkeys separated from their mothers, especially if they are caged alone rather than in groups, generate fewer lymphocytes in response to antigens and fewer antibodies in response to viruses.
Many researchers report that stressful situations can reduce various aspects of the cellular immune response. A research team from Ohio State University that has long worked in this field suggests that psychological stress affects the immune system by disrupting communication between the nervous system, the endocrine (hormonal) system, and the immune system. These three systems “talk” to one another using natural chemical messages, and must work in close coordination to be effective. The Ohio State research team speculates that long-term stress releases a long-term trickle of stress hormones — mainly glucocorticoids. These hormones affect the thymus, where lymphocytes are produced, and inhibit the production of cytokines and interleukins, which stimulate and coordinate white blood cell activity. This team and others have reported the following results:
Elderly people caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s disease have higher than average levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and, perhaps because of the higher levels of cortisol, make fewer antibodies in response to influenza vaccine.
Some measures of T cell activity have been found to be lower in depressed patients compared with nondepressed patients, and in men who are separated or divorced compared with men who are married.
In a year-long study of people caring for husbands or wives with Alzheimer’s disease, changes in T cell function were greatest in those who had the fewest friends and least outside help.
Four months after the passage of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, people in the most heavily damaged neighborhoods showed reduced activity in several immune system measurements. Similar results were found in a study of hospital employees after an earthquake in Los Angeles.
Moral of this story? Just chill...