Tag Archives: Oral Health & Overall Health

For a Healthy Mouth

 

Source: www.syracuseutdentistry.com)
(Source: www.syracuseutdentistry.com)

 

 

 

ORAL HEALTH AS A WINDOW TO OVERALL HEALTH

Thousands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease. Meaning, the health of your mouth, teeth and gums has a direct connection to health in the rest of your body. (Mercola, 8/27/2016)
Most of the billions of bacteria living in the mouth are harmless – even necessary for good health. Maintaining good oral health supports those good bacteria and enables the body’s natural defenses to keep bad bacteria under control. But, without proper oral hygiene, pathogenic bacteria can reach levels that lead to tooth decay and gum disease – and also create disease elsewhere in the body.
Additionally, medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants reduce saliva flow. Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping protect against microbial invasion or overgrowth that could lead to disease. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016)
Pathogenic bacteria living in our oral cavities enter the blood stream  through a variety of daily activities, such as chewing, eating, brushing and flossing. Invasive dental treatments greatly increase the risk of pathogenic bacteria’s spreading elsewhere in the body via the blood stream. (Whiteman, 2013)

 

 

 

DISEASES LINKED TO ORAL HEALTH

Poor conditions in the mouth contribute to many problems elsewhere in the body, including:
  • Endocarditis. Endocarditis is a dangerous infection of the inner lining of the heart (the endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other pathogenic microbes from the mouth or elsewhere in the body  spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke are linked to infections and the inflammation pathogenic oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis (a set of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth) is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome. Sjogren’s is an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.
  • Diabetes. Diabetics have a  reduced resistance to infection and have more frequent and more severe gum disease.  Research has found that people with gum disease have a harder time controlling blood sugar levels and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
  • HIV/AIDS. HIV and AIDS are immunodeficiency conditions caused by the HIV virus. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis may be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK, discovered the presence of a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when they were alive. This bacterium is usually associated with chronic gum disease. Worsening oral health is generally seen as Alzheimer’s progresses.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. A strong link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was found in a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. 70% of the RA patients had gum disease. In 30% the gum disease was severe. The population norm for gum disease is 35% with 5% having severe gum disease. Severe gum disease is often found in the early stages of RA. RA patients should get complete oral health exams regularly.
  • Head and neck cancers. A link between head and neck cancers and poor oral health at the time of oncology diagnosis has often been observed. A British group studied the oral health state of 100 people with head and neck cancers before beginning cancer treatment and found periodontal disease in 71% of the subjects who still had their teeth. The periodontal disease was severe in 51% of them. 61% of them had cavities in one or more teeth.
  • Eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating take their toll on oral health. Without proper nutrition, gums and other soft tissues in the mouth may bleed easily. Saliva glands may swell and cause chronic dry mouth. Repeated vomiting exposes teeth to strong stomach acid, causing lost tooth enamel and tooth edges to become thin and break off easily.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Source: (American Dental Association, 2016), (Critchlow et al, 2014), (Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, 2015), (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016), & (Whiteman, 2013)

 

 

(Source: www.implantnyc.com)
(Source: www.implantnyc.com)

 

 

 

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ORAL HEALTH

Since the mouth is the “gateway to total body wellness” (Mercola, 8/27/2016), maintaining oral health – or restoring it if it has been compromised – is of utmost importance. Here are some suggestions for accomplishing that:

 

BRUSH YOUR TEETH PROPERLY AT LEAST TWICE A DAY
(Source: www.identalhub.com)
(Source: www.identalhub.com)

 

 

FLOSS DAILY
(Source: www.smile-la.com)
(Source: www.smile-la.com)

 

 

CONSUME A DIET CONSISTING OF REAL FOODS
A nutritious, balanced diet promotes healthy gums as well as a healthy body. In many cases, gum disease is directly connected to poor nutrition habits. Eat a well-balanced diet packed with plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Vitamins C and B are both essential to healthy gums.

veg-board-with-real-food-rules1

 

 

 

SCHEDULE REGULAR DENTAL CHECKUPS AND CLEANINGS
– preferably with a biologic/holistic dentist who understands the connection between oral health and health in the rest of the body. And be sure to see your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises.

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AVOID ANTIBACTERIAL MOUTHWASHES
“Your mouth is teeming with bacteria. It’s true. And it’s a good thing. There are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people on Earth. And a huge number of them actually benefit you by protecting against the more dangerous bacteria.
Bacteria“When you used an antibacterial mouthwash, it kills all kinds of bacteria, even the good ones! This can be the opportunity that the hazardous bacteria need to take over and start an infection. This is known as a “rebound effect.”
“Another side effect of bacteria loss is reduced production of nitrites (which help your blood vessels to expand and contract efficiently). A Swedish study linked lower nitrite production from antibacterial mouthwash to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.” (Blodgett, 2015)

“KILLS GERMS by up to 99.9%” for up to 12 hours – THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING

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USE AN IONIC TOOTHBRUSH
A manual or electric toothbrush mechanically removes plaque bacteria from the teeth but new studies have shown that ionic toothbrushes do a better job. Plaque biofilm is hard to brush off because it has a positive polarity while teeth have a negative polarity. Opposite charges attract and like charges repel. Much like dust is attracted to objects in our homes, plaque is attracted to our teeth.
An ionic toothbrush temporarily reverses the polarity of the tooth surfaces from negative to positive. This draws plaque towards the ionic toothbrush head, allowing the toothbrush to clear away more of it. As you use an ionic toothbrush, plaque is actively repelled by your now positively charged teeth and attracted to the negatively charged bristles – even in hard to reach areas that haven’t been touched by the brush – and acids in the mouth are neutralized. Research has found that ionic toothbrushes reduce hypersensitivity, plaque, and bleeding. (Parker, 2016)

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AVOID TOOTHPASTES CONTAINING TOXINS
Most toothpastes contain toxic ingredients – such as fluoride, parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, triclosan, sodium hydroxide, bleaches and other harsh chemicals  These chemicals damage the body as a whole and can  impair the good probiotic bacteria in the mouth.
Switch instead to an herbal toothpaste that’s free of metals and carcinogens. Look for ingredients such as eucalyptus, licorice, neem, clove and peppermint – natural antibacterial agents and breath fresheners.
Here’s an example of an effective, healthier toothpaste:
Auromere Ayurvedic Toothpaste
Auromere toothpaste

From Auromére’s website:

Auromére ‘s highly effective line of Ayurvedic toothpaste combines the natural fibre PEELU with the astringent and invigorating properties of NEEM and 24 other barks, roots, plants and flowers which have been esteemed for centuries by Ayurvedic specialists for maintaining optimum dental hygiene. The all-natural botanical extracts and essential oils in Auromére Toothpaste are prized for their astringent, cleansing properties that help freshen breath and leave teeth feeling squeaky clean. In addition, Auromére Toothpaste contains no fluoride, gluten, artificial sweeteners, dyes or harsh chemicals commonly found in many toothpastes.

Free of fluoride, gluten, bleaches, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and animal ingredients.

Concentrated formula: Each tube lasts 3 times longer than other brands!

Available in 5 varieties: Licorice,  Freshmint,  Mint-Free,  Foam-Free Cardamom-Fennel, and Foam-Free Freshmint.

 

USE AN ORAL IRRIGATOR
Oral irrigation removes plaque that tooth brushing doesn’t reach – from below the gum line. My favorite oral irrigator, and the one recommended by holistic/biologic dentist Reid Winick, DDS,  is made by Hydrofloss. I use it at night before bedtime and can feel the difference when I’m away from it while traveling.
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USE AN ORAL PROBIOTIC
Keeping an adequate supply of good probiotic bacteria living in your mouth defends against over growths of bad  pathogenic bacteria. Using an oral probiotic lozenge after you’ve cleaned your mouth before bedtime aids in maintaining dental and periodental health, reducing the incidence of inflammation and infections.
Here are two examples of high quality oral probiotic lozenges:

EvoraPro® Oral Probiotics for Dental Professionals

(Source: ramonadental.com)
(Source: ramonadental.com)
  • A product of more than 30 years of probiotic research by industry leader ProBiora Health
  • Features a patented, proprietary, extra-strength blend of beneficial bacteria, ProBiora3®
  • The blend of beneficial bacteria in EvoraPro are ones naturally found in healthy mouths

Life Extension Florassist Oral Hygiene

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  • An oral probiotic that provides the beneficial bacteria that can help block harmful bacteria that first develop in the mouth
  • Allows the healthy and naturally occurring organisms found in the body to out-compete the harmful bacteria
  • Contains BLIS K12 and Bacillus coagulans, a unique blend of two oral probiotics
USE A TONGUE SCRAPER
A fast way to get bad bacteria out of your mouth is with a tongue scraper. This is a traditional Ayurvedic technique for removing bacterial build-up, food debris, fungi, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. The technique cleans the mouth, freshens the breath, and also stimulates the metabolism.

(Source: www.ayurvedicbazaar.com)

(Source: www.ayurvedicbazaar.com)

 

 

 

DRINK GREEN TEA
Green tea not only protects against radiation, boosts mineralization of bones, and helps with weight loss, it also promotes healthy teeth and gums. High levels of catechin, an antioxidant, seem to be responsible for green tea’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body, including the mouth.
Source: www.pinterest.com)
Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

TRY CAMU CAMU FOR ITS HIGH VITAMIN C CONTENT
Vitamin C’s positive impact on oral health is well known.  “In fact, the use of vitamin C in dental disease is one of the earliest recorded uses of nutrient therapy in Western medicine. In 1747, a British Naval physician named James Lind noticed that lime juice, which is rich in vitamin C, helped prevent scurvy, which causes tooth loss. As a result, British sailors bottled lime juice for gum disease prevention. Incidentally, this practice later gave rise to the term ‘Limey’.” (Life Extension, 2016)
An interesting source of vitamin C is a fruit called camu camu that’s native to the Peruvian and Brazilian rain forests. It has an exceptionally high vitamin C content. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and reduces the incidence of bleeding gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Other benefits are repairing and maintaining cartilage and bones throughout the body and improving the texture of the skin.
Raw, Organic Camu Camu Powder
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EXPERIMENT WITH OIL PULLING
Oil pulling is a highly effective method of detoxifying the oral cavity. Swishing a tablespoon of oil (preferably organic coconut oil, but olive or sesame can also be used) around in the mouth for 10-20 minutes removes the toxins, leaving an oral environment where healthy saliva flows properly to prevent cavities and disease. Research has shown that oil pulling reduces plaque-induced gingivitis and the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, a known cause of cavities.
The first synthetic bristled toothbrush so familiar to us now first went on sale on February 24, 1938, but oil pulling has been used for centuries in India as a traditional remedy to:
  • Cure tooth decay
  • Kill bad breath
  • Heal bleeding gums
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Whiten teeth
  • Soothe throat dryness
  • Prevent cavities
  • Heal cracked lips
  • Boost the Immune system
  • Improve acne
  • Strengthen the gums and jaw
See Dr Josh Axe’s Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits & How-to Guide for more information on the benefits of coconut oil pulling plus a useful how-to video.

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)
Sources: (Axe, 2016), (Felts, 2014), (Life Extension, 2016),  (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016), (Mercola, 8/27/2016), & (Winick, 2016)

 

 

(Source: seniorsoralhealth.org)
(Source: seniorsoralhealth.org)

 

 “Pathogens are now being recognized as resident microbes that are out of balance … (T)he same bacteria that keep us alive can have a pathogenic expression when disturbed.

“I have been tooting the horn about getting out of the ‘pesticide business.’ I’m also speaking about natural pesticides. Not just triclosan, clorhexidin and those synthetic types, but also tea tree oil, tulsi oil, oregano oil and other antimicrobial oils that … have a potent disturbing effect on the oral microbiome.

“In the mouth, you don’t want to have a ‘scorched earth policy,’ nuking all bacteria and hoping the good bugs come back … (G)ood bugs basically have a harder chance of setting up a healthy-balanced microbiome when you disturb them, denature then, or dehydrate them with alcohol-based products.”

– Biologic dentist Gerry Curatola, DDS (quoted in Mercola, 8/27/2016)

 

 

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“(T)housands of studies have linked oral disease to systemic disease.
‘Inflammation is known to be a disease-causing force leading to most chronic illness, and gum disease and other oral diseases produce chronic low-grade inflammation that can have a deleterious effect on every major organ system in your body.
‘Oral disease can therefore contribute to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Advanced gum disease can raise your risk of a fatal heart attack up to 10 times. And, according to Curatola, if you get a heart attack related to gum disease, 9 times out of 10 it will be fatal.
‘There’s also a 700 percent higher incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with gum disease, courtesy of the inflammatory effects of unbalanced microflora in your mouth.” (Mercola, 8/27/2016

 

(Source: www.australiadental.com.au)
(Source: www.australiadental.com.au)

 

For more information on oral health, see these earlier posts:

Oral Health and Overall Health

Oral Health, Thermography and Inflammation

Is Antiseptic Mouthwash Harming Your Heart?

Vitamin C for Tooth Pain

Root Canals and Breast Cancer

For more information on how ionic toothbrushes work, see:

The Science Behind Ionic Toothbrushes

 

 

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Many thanks to Anne Mercer Larson and Morrie Sherry for suggesting I write on this topic as a follow up to my Root Canals and Breast Cancer post.

 

(Source: healthybodylife.com)
(Source: healthybodylife.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Dental Association. (2016). Eating Disorders. See: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eating-disorders

Axe, J. (2016). Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits & How-to Guide. See: https://draxe.com/oil-pulling-coconut-oil/

Blodgett, K. (2015). Is Mouthwash Bad for You? Blodgett Dental Care. See: http://www.blodgettdentalcare.com/blog/is-mouthwash-bad-for-you/

Critchlow, S.B. et al. (2014). The oral health status of pre-treatment head and neck cancer patients. British Dental Journal, 1:216. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24413141

Felts, L. (2014). DETOX YOUR MOUTH: 9 HOLISTIC TREATMENTS FOR ORAL HEALTH. See: http://thechalkboardmag.com/detox-your-mouth-9-holistic-oral-health-treatments

Hardin, J.R. (3/14/2014). Is Antiseptic Mouthwash Harming Your Heart? See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/03/14/antiseptic-mouthwash-harming-heart/

Hardin, J.R. (2/16/2014). Oral Health and Overall Health.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/02/16/oral-health-overall-health/

Hardin, J.R. (2/16/2014). Oral Health, Thermography and Inflammation.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/02/16/oral-health-thermography-inflammation/

Hardin, J.R. (7/31/2016). Vitamin C for Tooth Pain. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/07/31/vitamin-c-toothache/

Hardin, J.R. (8/22/2016). Root Canals & Breast Cancer. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/08/22/root-canals-breast-cancer/

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. (2015). Dental Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Research Update. See: http://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/arthritis-news/ra-news/dental-health-and-rheumatoid-arthritis-a-research-update/

Life Extension. (2016). Periodontitis and Cavities. See: http://www.lifeextensionvitamins.com/peandca.html

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Oral health: A window to your overall health. See: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

Mercola, R.  (8/27/2016). For Optimal Health, Mind Your Oral Microbiome and Avoid Fluoride, Harsh Mouth Rinses and Amalgam Fillings. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/27/optimize-your-oral-microbiome-avoid-fluoride.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20160827Z1_B&et_cid=DM117251&et_rid=1638888152

Parker, K. (2016). The Science Behind Ionic Toothbrushes. See: http://www.holistic-healing-information.com/ionic-toothbrushes.html

Whiteman, H. (2013). Alzheimer’s disease linked to poor dental health. See: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264164.php

Winick, R. (2016). Five Steps You Can Take to Naturally Promote Healthy Gums and Prevent Disease. Dentistry for Health NY. See: http://www.dentistryforhealthny.com/PromoteHealth

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Vitamin C for Tooth Pain

 

(Source: www.deviantart.com)
(Source: www.deviantart.com)

 

I’d been under a heavy load of emotional stress for some days and noticed that I was developing pain around an upper molar – not awful enough to keep me up at night but certainly unwelcome and inconvenient.
I mentioned it to David Miller, MD (the nutritional supplements guru at LifeThyme Market in Greenwich Village) just to see if he had a trick up his sleeve for this that didn’t involve an emergency dental appointment. And he did! He recommended taking vitamin C. Knowing I had some Emergen-C at home, he suggested taking one packet of it every two hours until mildly loose stool began.
So that evening I drank a packet of Emergen-C Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai) mixed into a cup of filtered water – and my tooth pain was gone a few hours later!

 

 

emergen-c-immune-plus-system-support-vitamin-d-blueberry-acai

 

 

 

SO WHY DID IT WORK?

I’ve since learned it was the high amount of Vitamin C in Emergen-C that stopped the pain.
Emergen-C Immune Plus® System Support (Blueberry Acai) contains:
  • 1000 mg Vitamin C
  • 1000 IU Vitamin D
  • Proprietary Complex
  • 7 B Vitamins, antioxidants and Electrolytes
  • Other Natural Flavors
  • No Caffeine

 

Vitamin C destroys bacteria and also enlivens blood circulation so more blood began going to the tooth and gum area that had become tender. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had been clenching my jaw during that time of great stress. Vitamin C also supports the immune system and is critical to the formation of collagen.

 

 

VITAMIN C IS A NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC

Vitamin C is a powerful, natural broad-spectrum antibiotic, antihistamine, antitoxic, and antiviral. The astute, early 20th century dentist Weston Price, best known for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health, labeled Vitamin C an “invisible toothbrush”.  (Cheraskin, 2001).
More research led to the 3rd edition (2011) of Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD’s interesting book Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. This is Amazon’s description of it:

“Several years ago the author, cardiologist Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD was asked to assist Hal Huggins, DDS, with a number of Dr.  Huggins’ dental patients. Each of the patients was quite ill and obviously suffering with one or more very serious medical conditions. Prior to sedating each patient Dr. Huggins asked Dr. Levy to administer a specific protocol of vitamin C.

“Dr. Levy had never performed or even heard of such a practice, but was greatly impressed as each patient left the dental office markedly improved — many were asymptomatic. As a result, his interest in vitamin  C was greatly aroused and he began a search through all the medical literature for any studies concerning this vitamin therapy and the miraculous results he had witnessed time and time again.

“He quickly found the medical journals were filled with thousands of studies and articles about vitamin  C. Many of them reported similarly dramatic results with a myriad of diseases and other difficult medical conditions. Dr. Levy knew that this was information that all his colleagues needed. Consequently, he was compelled to spend the next four years researching and writing Curing the Incurable. Because this book was written especially for his medical colleagues, Dr.  Levy has taken great care to research, document, and report the vital truths about vitamin C — he cites over 1,200 scientific references.

“Curing the Incurable provides the information you need to most effectively use vitamin C to:

  • Prevent, cure, reverse and/or greatly improve a massive list of health conditions.
  • Cut your mortality risk (from all causes) by as much as 50%.
  • Boost your immune system and energy levels to optimum levels.
  • Optimize blood and intracellular levels of vitamin C.
  • Dramatically increase bio-availability (up to 800% or more) without increasing your dose size.
  • Avoid gastric discomfort, the diarrhea, and increased urination that prove most of your large doses of vitamin C are headed for the sewer.
  • And much, much more
I also came across another person’s report of his experience using Vitamin C for a painful toothache:
“I got a terrible toothache from an impacted dental implant. My face swelled. My vision blurred as the swelling put pressure on my optic nerve. The pain was extreme.
“I decided to take 15 of the 500 mg. vitamin C three times a day with a lot of water. It was now almost impossible to eat due to pain and swelling. The day after I began taking the large amount of vitamin C there was improvement: I no longer felt like screaming from the pain. By the third day the swelling was down and the pain was mostly a memory. I was, to say the least, impressed.” (Health Boundaries, 2016)
I don’t know for sure, but my assumption is that the 1,000 mg of Vitamin C in the packet of Emergen-C brought more blood to the afflicted area and  attacked whatever infection was beginning in that tooth and/or the gum surrounding it.
And now I’ve just ordered  Dr Levy’s book and am eager to read it.

 

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VITAMIN C INCREASES BLOOD CIRCULATION

Vitamin C both tones blood vessels and prevents free radicals from damaging the circulatory system, ensuring that blood flows freely throughout the body. (Poor Circulation, 2016)
“One of the most intensely studied areas of vitamin C benefits is in the area of cardiovascular health. Researchers are finding that vitamin C impacts several aspects of cardiac health, ranging from blood pressure to endothelial health. Perhaps it’s not surprising that as the relationship between oxidative damage, inflammation, and atherosclerosis becomes increasingly investigated by science, vitamin C is seen as a key protective element against many aspects of cardiovascular disease.
“For years, scientists have warned us against the dangerous buildup of plaque that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Researchers are investigating the possibilities that vitamin C may play a role in reducing our risk of plaque buildup.
“In the early stages of atherosclerosis, white blood cells called monocytes migrate and stick to the walls of the endothelium. Once this process begins, our vessel walls begin to thicken and lose their elasticity, which paves the way for atherosclerosis.
“Interestingly, British researchers studied the effects of vitamin C supplementation (250 mg/day) on this adhesion process in 40 healthy adults. Before the study, subjects with low pre-supplementation levels of vitamin C had 30% greater monocyte adhesion than normal, putting them at higher risk for atherosclerosis. Impressively, after six weeks of supplementation, the rate of this dangerous monocyte adhesion actually fell by 37%.
“The researchers went on to demonstrate that the same small dose of vitamin C was able to normalize a molecule that white blood cells use to adhere to the endothelium. The findings indicated that through supplementation with vitamin C scientists were able to regulate how specific genes produce vital proteins, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease at the molecular level.
“Building on this important work, scientific researchers in 2005 studied the impact of antioxidant supplementation on degenerative aortic stenosis, an age-associated heart valve disorder that has an inflammatory component.9 The scientists studied 100 patients with mild-to-moderate aortic stenosis, randomly assigning 41 of them to receive vitamins C (1,000 mg/day) and E (400 IU/day), 39 to receive vitamin C only (1,000 mg/day), and 20 to serve as untreated controls. Both supplemented groups experienced significant reductions in levels of several important adhesion molecules, potentially reducing further inflammatory damage to the heart valves.
“And just as vitamin C helps preserve vascular integrity, it is also proving beneficial in combating other risk factors for endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.” (Goepp, 2008)

 

 

HEALTHY MOUTH, HEALTHY HEART

(Source: www.mitchmarderdds.com)
(Source: www.mitchmarderdds.com)
“Not getting enough ascorbic acid — more commonly known as vitamin C — in your diet can lead to atherosclerosis and the build up of plaque in the blood vessels that impedes blood flow. Vitamin C may also assist in keeping arteries flexible, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Foods that contain ascorbic acid include fruits such as watermelon, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tomatoes and mango. Vegetables are good sources of vitamin C as well, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, winter squash and leafy green.” (Miller, 2015)

 

(Source: www.drsinatra.com)
(Source: www.drsinatra.com)

 

 

 

VITAMIN C SUPPORTS THE  IMMUNE SYSTEM

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

“One of the most important functions of vitamin C is to support and energize the body’s immune system. Immune cells have active vitamin C transporter molecules embedded in their membranes that actively pump the vitamin into the cells when more vitamin C is required.” (Robertson, 2015)
People with many common diseases have severely reduced Vitamin C blood levels compared to healthy individuals. And, in part because of an increasingly oxidative environment that eats up Vitamin C,  the elderly tend to have lower levels of Vitamin C circulating in their blood stream and immune cells, leading to impaired immune function. (Robertson, 2015)

 

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

The table below shows lower plasma vitamin C levels in people with serious diseases (especially cancer and sepsis) than in healthy individuals. Note that a healthy Vitamin C blood level range is considered to be 61-80 micromolecules/L. (Robertson, 2015)

 

TABLE: VITAMIN C LEVELS FALL IN MULTIPLE DISEASE STATES
Healthy Vitamin C Range is 61-80 mmol/L

Vitamin C In Disease States                                 Mean Plasma Vitamin C Level (micromol/L)

   Diabetes                                                                                         42 mmol/L

   Gastritis                                                                                         46 mmol/L

   Pancreatitis                                                                                 33 mmol/L

   Pneumonia                                                                                  31 mmol/L

   Cancer                                                                                        < 24 mmol/L

   Trauma or sepsis (overwhelming infection)               10 mmol/L

   Arthritis                                                                                        27 mmol/L

A healthy vitamin C level is considered to be between 61 and 80 micromol/L. Those afflicted with serious diseases have much lower vitamin C levels. It is likely that the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by some of these diseases contributes to this reduced vitamin C since it will rapidly be used up quenching free radicals. It’s also possible that lower levels of vitamin C contributed to the development or progression of some of these disorders.

 

 

 

 

VITAMIN C IS NECESSARY FOR COLLAGEN PRODUCTION

 

(Source: www.vitalproteins.com)
(Source: www.vitalproteins.com)
The body requires Vitamin C for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that performs many important functions in the body (English & Cass, 2013):
  • Collagen forms connective fibers in tissues such as skin, ligaments, cartilage, bones and teeth.
  • Collagen acts as a kind of intracellular “glue” that gives support, shape and bulk to blood vessels, bones, and organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.
  • Collagen fibers keep bones and blood vessels strong and help anchor our teeth to our gums.
  • Collagen is required for the repair of blood vessels, bruises, and broken bones.
  • Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for more mass than all the other body’s proteins put together.

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

Dr Emily Kane, ND, LAc, recommends 4-9 grams/day of Vitamin C, to promote collagen healing and retard plaque growth. She says gums that bleed easily may be a sign of Vitamin C deficiency. “Vitamin C is a large, complex molecule that can ‘absorb’ a free-radical and stop the chain of destruction. Vitamin C is inexpensive (manufacturers never cheat in its production, unlike with Vitamin E), widely available in a variety of forms and generally well tolerated. Some people with very sensitive stomachs need to take a buffered form, rendered a neutral pH with the addition of minerals such as calcium or magnesium.” (Kane, 2001)

 

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

 

WHY HUMANS NEED TO GET VITAMIN C FROM OUR DIET OR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Most animals and plants are able to synthesize Vitamin C to meet their nutritional needs.  4,000 species of mammals produce it in their livers from glucose, but a few – including humans,  guinea pigs, bats, and dry-nosed primates – have lost this ability due to a mutation in the GULO (gulonolactone oxidase) gene. We – and they – must obtain our Vitamin C from outside sources. (Biology, 2012), (Cell Press, 2008) & (Misner, 2016)
“Normal GULO is an enzyme that catalyses the reaction of D-glucuronolactone with oxygen to L-xylo-hex-3-gulonolactone. This then spontaneously forms Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). However without the GULO enzyme, no vitamin C is produced.” (Biology, 2012)
Because humans are unable to produce vitamin C and must obtain it from other sources and because most of us don’t consume enough foods containing ascorbic acid, it  makes sense to supplement daily with vitamin C.  (Robertson, 2015)

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

A footnote to my recent experience taking Emergen-C for dental pain:
It took only that single dose of Emergen-C to produce the loosened stool effect Dr Miller said to look for. I’ve always been sensitive to big doses of Vitamin C and generally take a buffered version when I can.
Irwin Stone (an American biochemist, chemical engineer, and author) and my father (an enzyme chemist) became good friends during their time working together at the Wallerstein Company (a processor of malts and hops for beer making) in the late 1930’s-early 1940’s. Stone was the first to use ascorbic acid in the food processing industry as a preservative. He also originated and published the hypothesis that humans require much larger amounts of Vitamin C for optimal health than is necessary to prevent scurvy.
Stone’s book, The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease was first published in 1955.
He  piqued Linus Pauling’s interest in the health benefits of Vitamin C and is recognized as one of the founders of Orthomolecular Medicine. Stone’s research provided additional scientific background for the clinical results of megadose ascorbate treatments claimed by Dr Frederick Robert Klenner, his contemporary.
Irwin Stone and his wife Barbara were  living in the San Francisco Bay Area when my husband and I moved to Palo Alto for a year. My dad wrote to his friend, who invited us and our infant son to come for dinner at their house. Barbara made a beautiful looking, tart, refreshing soup to start the meal. I couldn’t quite place the source of its tartness but shortly after dinner found myself desperately needing to know the location of their bathroom.
When I returned to the table and said I couldn’t figure out what had caused this reaction, Irwin confessed that my father had told him I was nursing a baby and not getting much sleep so he’d asked Barbara to put 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid into my soup to boost our immune systems.

 

 

Irwin Stone (1907-1984), a founder of Orthomolecular Medicine

(Source: paulingblog.wordpress.com)
(Source: paulingblog.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Biology. (2012). Why do Humans not produce Vitamin C like other mammals? See: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/401/why-do-humans-not-produce-vitamin-c-like-other-mammals

Cell Press. (2008). How Humans Make Up For An ‘Inborn’ Vitamin C Deficiency. ScienceDaily. See: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

Cheraskin, W. (2001). The Invisible Toothbrush. Weston A. Price Foundation. See: http://www.westonaprice.org/holistic-healthcare/the-invisible-toothbrush/

English, J. & Cass, H. (2013). Linus Pauling’s Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease. Nutritional Review. The Collagen Connection. See: http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/collagen-connection/

Goepp, J. (2008). Newly Discovered Health Benefits of Vitamin C. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/4/newly-discovered-benefits-of-vitamin-c/Page-01

Health Boundaries. (2016). Vitamin C. See: http://www.health-boundaries.com/home/b12-malabsorption/diarrhea/vitamin-c/

Kane, E. (2001). Toothache and Gum Disease. See: http://dremilykane.com/2001/12/16/toothache-and-gum-disease/

Levy, T.E. (2011) Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins, 3rd Edition. See: https://www.amazon.com/Curing-Incurable-Vitamin-Infectious-Diseases/dp/0977952029

Miller, S-J. (2015). Vitamins That Increase Blood Flow. LiveStrong.com. See: http://www.livestrong.com/article/511125-vitamins-that-increase-blood-flow/

Misner, W. (2016). Humans lack the ability to make vitamin C. Hammer Nutrition. See: https://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/humans-lack-the-ability-to-make-vitamin-c.278.html

PoorCirculation.net. (2016). VITAMINS FOR CIRCULATION OF BLOOD – HOW DO THEY HELP? See: http://poorcirculation.net/blood-circulation-vitamins/

Robertson, C. (2015). The Link Between Vitamin C And Optimal Immunity. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2015/11/the-link-between-vitamin-c-and-optimal-immunity/page-01

 

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DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.