Vitamin C and Tissue Repair

“The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30

I always thought vitamin C was just about keeping you from getting a cold. It is so much more. Let’s explore how vitamin C is essential for wound and soft tissue repair.

Vitamin C is also know as ascorbic acid and ascorbate.

Many foods contain vitamin C but not enough for optimal health. Most people don’t eat enough of the right foods.

Vitamin C is responsible for

  • healing wounds
  • the repair and growth of tissue
  • maintaining and repairing bones and teeth
  • development of collagen
  • slows deterioration of cartilage
  • promotes production of elastin
  • accelerates healing of bone fractures

Collagen forms strong connective tissue. The fibers are stronger than steel wire of the same weight. Vitamin C assists in forming collagen. Bones, ligaments and tendons receive their strength from long string-like protein molecules called collagen. This is what holds your body together. Collagen needs vitamin C for formation.

Many experts recommend vitamin C supplementation to promote healing after surgery and sports injuries. It forms collagen to build strong new tissue, build immunity and scavenge for free radicals in your tissue.

In subjects recovering from surgery or other injuries, taking 500 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C improved the quality of newly formed collagen, but according to one study, it did not alter the collagen established before the vitamin C supplementation.

Vitamin C deficiencies may delay wound repair.

It is also an antioxidant to fight free radicals. Free radicals cause tissue damage and cause illness. It is the most important water soluble antioxidant in our diet.

How Much?

Amounts higher than the RDA is required.

Irvine Stone says according to researchers, the necessary levels of optimal health are 100x the RDA. You should take 50-90% of your maximum dosage. You’ve hit your maximum when it affects your bowels.

Don’t take it all at once. It can’t be absorbed. Divide it up during the day.

It cannot be stored by the body, so you need to keep eating good sources.

For vitamin C to be more effective, eat less sugar and carbs. Glucose competes with vitamin C in cells.

Vitamin C is safer than other commonly used drugs. It does not cause kidney stones. Calcium is more likely to cause kidney stones.

Excess C is excreted in the urine.

Vitamin C supplements are mainly derived from corn.

People who smoke need more vitamin C.

When you take a high dose for a period of time you should taper off to a normal dose gradually to avoid a rebound effect.

Sources

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources. Best choices are kiwis, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, berries

Raw is best. Heat will reduce vitamin C levels in food.

Interactions

Vitamin C can interact with certain medications. It can also affect certain health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, sick cell anemia, and others. Talk to your doctor before taking high amounts of vitamin C.

I Tried It

When I first discovered this, I had been struggling with tennis elbow for 3 months. After seeing my doctor and having nothing resolved I decided to give vitamin C a try. My tennis elbow pain was gone in two weeks.

Now, it did nothing for my shoulder pain but I know now that was a different issue. However,  I will ask my doctor about talking Vitamin C before and after my shoulder surgery.

 

Resources:

Healing the Wounds or Having Surgery? Don’t Forget the Vitamin C!

Hickey, Steve PhD and Saul, Andrew PhD. Vitamin C: The Real Story

Morris, Chuck. Facts You Should Know About Vitamin C.

Nutrition and Connective Tissue

Promote Surgery Recovery with Supplements

Roger J. Williams and Linus Pauling on Vitamin C and Collagen

The Role of Vitamin C in Wound Healing

Trauma and Wound Healing

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C and Human Wound Healing

Vitamin C: Do Daily Mega-Doses Accelerate Wound Healing?

 

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