Vitamin C: Gums and Blood Vessels

  VITAMIN C (ascorbic acid) is absolutely necessary for healthy connective tissue, particularly bone, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessel walls because it participates in collagen synthesis.  Collagen is a structural component of connective tissue, giving it strength, resilience and suppleness.

Vitamin C is important to avoid tooth loss.

Severe deficiency in Vit C causes scurvy, manifesting in the loss of teeth and bleeding gums.  Scurvy was common on long sea voyages when the diet of sailors consisted of salted or cured meats and grains only because fruits and vegetables would quickly perish.  Many sailors died on these voyages.

Vitamin C has numerous other roles:

  • Vit C is required for the synthesis of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter).  Norepinephrine helps us to be active and alert throughout the day.
  • Vit C participates in the formation of carnitine.  Carnitine helps to transport fats into our energy factories called mitochondria.  Hence, Vit C helps us to feel more energetic.
  • Vit C plays an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol into bile acids, and thus may help to maintain proper cholesterol levels.
  • Vit C is a potent antioxidant, providing protection from oxidation by the body’s many metabolic processes, as well as from toxins, radiation, pollutants (inc. smoking).
  • Vit C’s role in collagen synthesis makes it a vitally important component of skin care.  Collagen helps skin to remain smooth and resilient.

Vitamin C deficiency.

Vit C deficiency may lead to bleeding gums (gingivitis), loss of teeth, easy bruising (fragile blood vessel walls), as well as joint pain and swelling.