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Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant and one of the best researched nutrients. It is found in fruits and vegetables, but it is easily destroyed by heat, cooking, processing, and storage and rapidly eliminated from our system in the urine, therefore we must ensure an adequate daily intake to stay healthy. Inadequate levels of vitamin C may be seen in cases of physical and mental stress, seniors, and those with chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, arthritis, and age-related eye disease. Vitamin C is best known for strengthening the immune system by supporting and improving white blood cell function. It is also essential for the proper formation of collagen and helps to reduce histamine release in the body, thereby relieving allergy symptoms.
Vitamin D is produced naturally when our skin is exposed to strong sunlight. However, in the northern hemisphere this type of natural light is not available during much of the year, therefore Canadians are at a greater risk of deficiency. Other at-risk groups include seniors, people with darker skin, vegans, and those on a low protein diet. Health professionals in Canada estimate that increased vitamin D blood levels would reduce incidence of a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, and pneumonia. Adequate levels of both vitamin C and vitamin D are important for the prevention of many chronic health conditions.