Taking collagen? Don’t forget Lysine and Vitamin C
Vitamin C is arguably the single most important water soluble antioxidant in the human body. Antioxidants play a key role in protecting cells against free radicals, which can cause damage and play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
A lack of vitamin C and lysine also results in poor collagen and weak arteries. Coronary arteries are under more pressure than any other artery in the body. Without sufficient vitamin C and lysine the constant pounding in the arteries causes minute cracks in collagen. This bodily stress can contribute to atherosclerosis, blood clots, or in worse cases rupture a weakened artery, resulting in a stroke.
Millions of North Americans also suffer from osteoarthritis. Without sufficient vitamin C to produce collagen (a major component of cartilage) bone eventually grinds on bone. There would be fewer joint replacements if adequate vitamin C levels were achieved to produce healthy collagen. If that’s not enough, all the beauty experts will also tell you collagen helps keep skin looking youthful.
Patients often appear surprised when I tell them that vitamin C will help them keep their teeth healthy well into their senior years. By age 65 one in five North Americans has lost all of their teeth despite having no major dental issues in the past. Rather, it was the gums that could no longer hold teeth firmly in place in part due to inadequate amounts of vitamin C. This vitamin is needed in large amounts to produce healthy collagen, the glue that holds cells together and keeps gums healthy. Without good mortar bricks fall apart and the same happens when gums lacking collagen lose their grip on teeth.
To combat inflammatory Rheumatoid arthritis similarly also requires large doses of vitamin C. Every moment of the day our bodies require oxygen to help keep us alive. However, oxidation results in metabolic ash, known as “free radicals” which are believed to trigger an inflammatory reaction in joints. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce damaging free-radicals.
The essential amino acid lysine is probably best known for its use in those with herpes simplex infections. Several other benefits have been ascribed to the molecule including; positive effects on blood pressure and stroke prevention, and also elevates mood and lowers anxiety.
To maintain optimal health and improve your chances of reaching 90+, I recommend
Medi-C Plus® with high dose vitamin C and lysine – just mix with your morning juice.
I started taking high dose vitamin C and lysine after my heart attack 20 years ago:
I still enjoy travelling, writing my columns and I also rappelled down Toronto City Hall to
help raise funds for Make-A-Wish® Canada. I turned 95 this year – not bad!
By W. Gifford-Jones, MD