Vitamin C info

orangeVitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin (it dissolves in water) that is necessary for normal growth and development. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:

  • Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
  • Heal wounds and form scar tissue
  • Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.

  • Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
  • The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process.
  • Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.

The body is not able to make vitamin C on its own, and it does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.

For many years, vitamin C has been a popular remedy for the common cold.

  • Research shows that for most people, vitamin C supplements or vitamin C-rich foods do not reduce the risk of getting the common cold.
  • However, people who take vitamin C supplements regularly might have slightly shorter colds or somewhat milder symptoms.
  • Taking a vitamin C supplement after a cold starts does not appear to be helpful.

Food Sources

Most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C.

Fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables with the highest sources of vitamin C include:

  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Green and red peppers
  • Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Winter squash

Some cereals and other foods and beverages are fortified with vitamin C. Fortified means a vitamin or mineral has been added to the food. Check the product labels to see how much vitamin C is in the product.

Cooking vitamin C-rich foods or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin C content. Microwaving and steaming vitamin C-rich foods may reduce cooking losses. The best food sources of vitamin C are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetables.

Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding gums
  • Decreased ability to fight infection
  • Decreased wound-healing rate
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weakened tooth enamel

A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

Recommendations

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins reflects how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person.

How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and illnesses, are also important.

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.

Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin C:

Infants

  • 0 – 6 months: 40* milligrams/day (mg/day)
  • 7 – 12 months: 50* mg/day

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Children

  • 1 – 3 years: 15 mg/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 25 mg/day
  • 9 – 13 years: 45 mg/day

Adolescents

  • Girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg/day
  • Boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg/day

Adults

  • Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
  • Women age 19 year and older: 75 mg/day

Smokers or those who are around secondhand smoke at any age should increase their daily amount of vitamin C an additional 35 mg per day.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who smoke need higher amounts of vitamin C. Ask your doctor what amount is best for you.

Alternative Names

Ascorbic acid; Dehydroascorbic acid

References

Escott-Stump S, ed. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Sarubin Fragaakis A, Thomson C. The Health Professional’s Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. 3rd ed. Chicago, Il: American Dietetic Association; 2007.

Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2000.

Douglas RM, Hemila H, Chalker E, Treacy B. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev; 2007(3):CD000980.

Update Date: 8/30/2011

Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center Diabetes Care Center, Seattle, Washington (2/15/2011).

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Breathing: Three Exercises to Try

stretching on the beach“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”

– Andrew Weil, M.D.

Exercise 1: The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness. 

Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.

Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.

Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Exercise 2: The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

Sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
• Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
• Hold your breath for a count of seven.
• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
• This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

The ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Do it at least twice a day. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. Everyone can benefit from it.

Exercise 3:Breath Counting

If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.

Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

• To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
• The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
• Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.

Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

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SIX SIMPLE WAYS TO CREATE SOME “NEW” IN LIFE

Your brain becomes more actCreate-New-Product-Attribute-in-Magentoivated and challenged through new experiences. Neuroscientists have concluded that the brain is hardwired to seek and enjoy new and challenging events and activities. To energize your mind, step outside your comfort zone; this releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that has been noted to be diminished in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. This motivates new learning, which creates a happier, more fulfilling environment.

Here are six simple steps to create more “new” in life:

  1. Every 90-day getaway. Every three months, take a trip somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be a far away or expensive trip—even a day trip somewhere you have not been, such as hiking, biking, or going to a museum—this will break up the monotony of everyday routines, which opens new pathways in the brain and helps you rejuvenate.
  2. Restaurant/dining tours. Make date nights an excursion to new places each week, or get a group of friends to host dinners in different members’ homes each week to try new dishes.
  3. Getting out on the town. What’s going on in Birmingham this week? Try a different experience: a museum, a show, an art tour, new movies, sporting events, etc. Try something you don’t usually do so you can experience something new, and perhaps find a new passion.
  4. Travel adventure. Save up money and vacation time, and make your dream adventure become reality. The main rule in a new place is “Do something new and different.” Spend as little time in the hotel as possible—get out and experience new and exciting cultures, foods, and people.
  5.  Expand your circle. Make new friends and peers. It’s as important now as in childhood. Attend networking events, fundraisers, and local events, but do this to expand friendships as well as business contacts.
  6. Skill development. Seek to develop and hone new skills each year. Master something new each year—writing, art, speaking, computers, singing, cooking, sports, etc. This will test and expand your boundaries and mental engagement.

Work to implement these skills, and play full on! That is the only and best way to truly gain what you seek. Be engaged, enthusiastic, and energized in every activity you embark on, and you will discover a new, vibrant, and powerful you.

Excerpted from The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, by Brendon Burchard.

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July 2013 Video News from Dr. Lee

All the latest for July at Goodson Health and Wellness

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Sun Screen Tips

sunJuly is in full swing, and even though it feels like the sun is a very distant relative, it will return one of these days. Here are some tips to help you maximize your time in the sun this summer.

1. Quick tips for a good sunscreen

Ingredients matter – learn if your brand leaves you overexposed to damaging UVA rays, if it breaks down in the sun or if it contains potential hormone-disrupting compounds.

Avoid These Ingredients – Oxybenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), Added Insect Repellent

Look for These Ingredients – Zinc, Titanium Dioxide, Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX

Avoid These Products – Sprays, Powders, SPF above 50+

Look for These Products – Cream, Broad spectrum protection, Water resistant for beach, pool & exercise

SPF 30+ for beach & pool

2. First things first – do these before applying sunscreen

Don’t get burned. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!

Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays.

Find shade – or make it.  Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.

Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.

Sunglasses are essential. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

3. Now put on sunscreen – here are the essentials

Some sunscreens prevent sunburn but not other types of skin damage. Make sure yours provides broad spectrum protection and follow our other tips for better protection.

Don’t be fooled by a label that boasts of high SPF. Anything higher than “SPF 50+” can tempt you to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburn but not other kinds of skin damage. The FDA says these numbers are misleading

News about Vitamin A. Eating vitamin A-laden vegetables is good for you, but spreading vitamin A on the skin may not be so good. Government data show that tumors and lesions develop sooner on skin coated with vitamin A-laced creams. Vitamin A, listed as “retinyl palmitate” on ingredient labels, is in one-fourth of sunscreens on the market. Avoid them.

Ingredients matter. Avoid the sunscreen chemical oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and contaminates the body. Look for active ingredients zinc, titanium, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX.

Pick a good sunscreen. EWG’s sunscreen database rates the safety and efficacy of about 1,800 SPF-rated products.

Cream, spray or powder – and how often? Sprays and powders cloud the air with tiny particles of sunscreen that may not be safe to breathe. Choose creams instead.

Got your Vitamin D? Many people don’t get enough vitamin D, which skin manufactures in the presence of sunlight. Your doctor can test your level and recommend supplements or a few minutes of sun daily on your bare skin (without sunscreen) if you have low risk for skin cancer.

4. Sun Safety Tips For Kids

Kids are more vulnerable to sun damage. A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. The best sunscreen is a hat and shirt. After that, protect kids with a sunscreen that’s effective and safe. Infants and Children are much more sensitive to allergens in sunscreen products so use them as little as possible.

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Adrenal Fatigue

John L Wilson, ND, PhD with rearrangement by Lee Goldenbergadrenal%20fatigue

What is that?

Adrenal fatigue is chronic, decreased function of the adrenal glands, especially under stress. The primary cause of adrenal fatigue is stress- emotional, physical, and/or biochemical.

When the amount of stress continually overwhelms the ability of the adrenals to handle that level of stress, adrenal fatigue occurs. While the adrenals still function in adrenal fatigue, they do not function optimally.

Pervasive and common

In a 1974 publication, John Tintera, MD, a specialist in low adrenal function, conservatively estimated that slightly more than 15 percent of the population has a moderate to severe degree of adrenal fatigue with low blood sugar but, in actuality, the figure would be closer to 70 percent if all the related groups were included.2

Although there has been no rigorous study of the frequency of low adrenal function, Dr. Tintera’s higher estimate seems probable, especially in current stressful times.

Unique pattern

Although there are many signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue, certain patterns are more common. Often there is early morning fatigue, even with sufficient hours of sleep, accompanied by the need for caffeinated beverages, often multiple servings, in the morning to get going and keep going during the day.

Fatigue is a common complaint heard by physicians; 85 percent of patients complain of fatigue as one of their major symptoms. However there seems to be no other fatigue pattern quite like this.

Common signs of adrenal fatigue:

  • difficulty getting up and going
  • mid-morning low
  • feels better after the noon meal
  • afternoon low
  • feels better 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.
  • second wind 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • feels much better if allowed to sleep in about two hours longer than usual in the morning.4

Other common signs of adrenal fatigue:

  • hypoglycemia, especially under stress
  • craving salt or salty foods
  • difficulty sleeping
  • having low libido
  • taking longer to recover from illness or increased stress
  • having more frequent and severe respiratory illnesses
  • difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • increased irritability and intolerance
  • decreased productivity
  • increased perimenopause or PMS symptoms
  • feeling overwhelmed and mildly depressed

The distinctive pattern of fatigue together with these symptoms forms a syndrome that you can learn to readily recognize.

Pathology

There are many causes of adrenal fatigue but by far the most common is stress that is chronic, prolonged, or severe. In modern life, there are often multiple stresses at the same time. The patient may be unaware of some of these stresses but their adrenals, being the glands of stress, have to compensate for it whether physical, biochemical, hormonal, thermal, internal, external, emotional, mental, or toxic in origin, including overuse of drugs, alcohol, and sugar.

Many cases of adrenal fatigue seen clinically are triggered by motor vehicle accidents; severe injuries — especially head injuries and burns; emotional trauma such as divorce; overwork; hyperactivity; poor and irregular eating habits; and chronic lack of sleep.

There are certain groups of people who tend to suffer from adrenal fatigue more frequently because of the constant stress they are under. For example: Caregivers, social workers, police, doctors, nurses, single moms, people working two jobs, lawyers, and the self-employed are often candidates for this syndrome.

No matter the cause of adrenal fatigue, it is important to maintain proper nervous system control to the adrenals (in the mid back and neck), as well as optimal nutrition and stress reduction techniques. Get adjusted and ask for help when you need it!

References

1Sajous CE. (1920). The Internal Secretions and the Principles of Medicine. Vol. 1 (10th ed., pg. 83). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

2Tintera JW. (1974). Hypocortisolism. (8th ed., pg. 17.) Mt. Vernon: Adrenal Metabolic Research Society of the Hypoglycemia Foundation.

3Stewart PM. (2003). “The adrenal cortex.” Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. (10th ed., pg. 507). Philadelphia: Saunders.

4Wilson JL. (2001). Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Petaluma Calif.: Smart Publications.

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Spring Allergy Tips

It’s time again to battle the onslaught of pollen and other airborne allergens. To help avoid turning into a sinus or upper respiratory infection, we have some suggestions to help you deal with allergies, sinus issues, and overall springtime immune challenges.

  1. Get adjusted. Optimal nervous system function can help you appropriately respond to stress (in this case, environmental, or biochemical stress); it is vital to your springtime health and happiness!
  2. Eat well. Avoid mucous producing foods such as dairy (yogurt, cheese, and milk) as well as processed foods and grains such as wheat. Adding inflammation to the body doesn’t necessarily cause allergies, but it doesn’t help the body alleviate them, either. Reduce your toxic load…
  3. Leave your car AC on recirculate. This may prevent some pollen from entering your car via the air ducts. Keep your air filter changed regularly.
  4. Change your home air filters often, and try a HEPA filter. Try an in home air purifier with HEPA filter, too.
  5. Support with Standard Process Products
    1. Allerplex: mild allergic reactions; 2 capsules, 2-4 times/day (½ dose in children)
    2. Antronex: helps remove excess histamine from the blood stream; 2 tablets, 4-6 times/day (½ dose in children)
    3. Epimune Complex: balances the immune system’s response to allergens; 2 capsules/day

Moderate-severe allergies, add:

  1. Albizia: 2 tablets, 2-3 times per day (¼ to ½ dose in children)
  2. Thymex: one of Dr. Lee’s favorite immune boosters; 2 tablets, 3 times/day*

*Kids can take chewable Congaplex for immune support instead of Thymex, depending on their age. Please see Dr. Lee for any detailed information regarding your specific case.

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