Article written

  • on 19.07.2009
  • at 08:43 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

Is Vitamin C a Viable Weight-Loss Alternative?


Vitamin C - weight lossWith grant funds received from the General Mills, Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, and on behalf of the scientific programs of the American Society of Nutrition, a 2006 press release from the Federation for Experimental Biology reported on a study done at Arizona State University correlating the amount of Vitamin C in a person’s body to the levels of of body fat. The results of the study, presented at Experimental Biology 2006 in San Francisco by graduate student Bonnie Beezhold, proved there is a direct link between a depletion of Vitamin C and fat oxidation.

The four-week-long study was conducted on twenty obese participants of both genders, in two groups, randomly chosen. It involved a low-fat diet for all the subjects, as well as a Vitamin C supplement pill or a placebo. The test was a blind study, as neither the subjects nor the researchers were aware of who was getting the real supplement or the placebo until the its culmination. Those who actually received the supplements were given approximately sixty-seven percent of the recommended daily allowance as prescribed by the USDA.

The study essentially proved Vitamin C did cause a slight elevation in fat oxidation. However, it appears the low-fat diet actually had more of an impact than the supplements. The researchers have been doing further studies to gauge the effects of Vitamin C supplementation during a long-term, gradual weight-loss program.

According to Kathleen Zellman, MPH, RD, LD, of WebMD, Vitamin C is one of the most widely used supplements today. It helps prevent a plethora of chronic, common ailments. Zelman quotes Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, pointing to Vitamin C as one of the few nutritional factors contributing to all-around good health.

Vitamin C was once thought to be perhaps the only dietary supplement with negligible chances of over-dosages and toxicity. However, recent findings have related rare incidences of over-dosing with taking more than the maximum recommended two-thousand milligrams per day. The ideal amount of Vitamin C in the average person’s diet is about five-hundred milligrams. Since it is water soluble, most excessive amounts are excreted from the body naturally, although there is the risk of diarrhea and stomach upset.

The consensus? Vitamin C is just one important aspect of a healthy diet. Its contributions to a healthy immune system and it preventative properties are factors contributing to healthy weight. A spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, Lee Sandquist, RD, puts it in perspective: “There is no one silver bullet, vitamin, mineral or nutrient.” She touts the common wisdom of eating right, taking a daily vitamin to supplement whatever nutrition a diet lacks, and continual washing of hands to prevent catching colds and other contagious diseases.

Image courtsey sxc/genkaku

You can find more advice about weight-loss and nutrition from freelance writer Trina L. Grant on her website.

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