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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #62 -- Health news for the health conscious
January 21, 2011

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Vitamin C For Joint Health

A little known use of vitamin C for the body is collagen. Collagen can be found as a basic structure in all almost all parts of your body -- skin, bones, teeth, blood vessels, eyes, heart, etc.

Believe it or not, collagen is stronger than steel wire. It is part of an elastic-like substance known as elastin. Collagen makes up the connective tissue that holds your body together.

Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen -- lots of vitamin C. A failing immune system, loss of teeth, ulcerated gums, and broken blood vessels are a few consequences of inadequate vitamin C intake.

The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vitamin C is for the most part met by your diet. But the RDA is only meant to prevent a dietary deficiency of a nutrient. Optimization of your health requires amounts greater than the RDA.

The RDA of vitamin C for adults has been set as 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. Fruits and vegetables contain the highest amounts.

Your body's moving joints are known as synovial joints; the connective tissue that holds them together and lubricates your cartilage is called synovial fluid.

Synovial fluid is straw-like in color and made almost entirely of collagen. Its other components are blood plasma, hyaluronic acid, and some other proteins.

Synovial fluid doesn't only lubricate though. It is an antibacterial too, and your body uses it to fight afflictions such as arthritis.

Age takes its toll on your joints. Strain and the wear and tear of constant use and exercise can allow pollutants into the joints and as a result, synovial fluid can leak out. Reactions to medications can also allow this to happen.

Based on his extensive medical and nutrition experience, Dr. Al Sears recommends 3,000 mg (milligrams) of vitamin C daily if the state of your health is good. Oranges, bell peppers, collard greens, papaya, and peppermint leaves are chock full of vitamin C.

Dr. Sears recommends a minimum of 6,000 mg of vitamin C for pregnant women. In times of stress or sickness, up to 20,000 mg can be taken.

Other nutrients should be taken to support joint and cartilage health. Glucosamine is one. A study that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that glucosamine helped completely relieve the joint pain of 80 percent of its participants, and 70 percent had improved joint mobility. Dr. Sears recommends 500 mg twice a day with food.

Researchers found that there is a direct correlation between joint problems and the amount of selenium present in your body. The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. According to studies, just 55 mcg (micrograms) of selenium a day could reduce your chance of osteoporosis by up to 15 percent. Brazil nuts have 544 mcg in one ounce.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to joint health. They will prevent inflammation.

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