Did you know that vitamin C isn’t only useful for fighting infections? It’s an extremely important nutrient that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Few people get the optimal level of vitamin C in their diet, and scientists argue the recommended intake is way too low to protect your health. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can be tough, but it’s worth it because it could just save your life.

According to research conducted at Oregon State University, the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, of vitamin C is less than half what it should be. The reason for this is government regulators evaluate vitamin C in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs, and reach faulty conclusions as a result. At higher intakes, vitamin C could help prevent heart attacks and strokes, which kill millions of people each year.

The researchers published a paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. They say there is compelling evidence that the RDA of vitamin C should be raised to 200 milligrams daily for adults. It is currently 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men. In Australia the RDA is only 30mg for women and 45 mg for men. Nowhere near sufficient for ensuring optimal health.

How would you know your body is lacking vitamin C?

The following are common symptoms: easy bruising, slow wound healing, a weak immune system, depression and weak collagen and elastin. Insufficient vitamin C can weaken your arteries, raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It will also increase the level of inflammation in your body, and excess inflammation is a driving force for many diseases.

According to Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, "Significant numbers of people in the U.S. and around the world are deficient in vitamin C, and there's growing evidence that more of this vitamin could help prevent chronic disease. The way clinical researchers study micronutrients right now, with the same type of so-called 'phase three randomized placebo-controlled trials' used to test pharmaceutical drugs, almost ensures they will find no beneficial effect. We need to get past that."

Most vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamin C, but we don’t always have the time to eat enough fresh produce. Vitamin C is easily damaged by heat, therefore cooked vegetables are largely deficient. Boosting your intake of vitamin C with a supplement may be necessary.

Other strategies to protect your heart and brain

Preventing excessive inflammation is important. The following factors all raise the level of inflammation in your body:

  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Deficiency of omega 3 fats in the diet
  • Lack of fresh vegetables in the diet
  • Food allergy or intolerance
  • Imbalance between good and bad gut bugs
  • Diets high in sugar, alcohol, gluten and omega 6 fats

Trying to minimize all those factors will go a long way towards keeping inflammation at bay.

Elevated blood sugar, insulin resistance and pre-diabetes are significant risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Certainly diabetics experience a great deal of inflammation in their bodies because of elevated blood sugar, but you don’t have to be a diabetic to experience this. Regularly consuming sugar, grains and high glycemic foods will flood your bloodstream with glucose. Sugar is sticky and it can bind to proteins in your body and damage them. Berberine is an herbal extract that helps reduce elevated blood sugar and insulin, thus it works on reversing insulin resistance. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a protein that your body uses to manufacture glutathione. Glutathione is your body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. People with high levels of inflammation in their bodies use up glutathione too quickly, thus develop a deficiency. Taking supplemental NAC helps counteract that.


The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.