Science has provided us with some sophisticated technology for the prevention and cure of many of the diseases that shortened the life span of prior generations. As a result, we are living longer. While that may seem like a super plus for this and future generations, we are now faced with the fact that our quality of life may be diminishing. Our health is continually put at risk as we are bombarded with the effects of toxins, smoke and the decreasing quality of the food we put into our bodies.
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Controlreported that smoking is the cause of one in five deaths in the United States each year. This equates to about 443,000 deaths per year and about 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are directly attributed to secondhand smoke.
Smoking is one of the top preventable causes of death. Still, more than 19% of the US population smokes. State and federal laws have come a long way in protecting those of us who choose not to smoke, but it stands to reason that there are situations and instances where exposure to secondhand smoke quite simply cannot be avoided. If you smoke, or you’re living with someone who smokes, the effects of the habit will take their toll on your health.
If smoke inhalation is on your list of health issues to be dealt with, free radicals and oxidative stress should rank near the top of your concerns when considering what you can do to live healthier. Smoking increases the influx of free radicals. As we noted in our prior post onantioxidants and free radicals, oxidative stress damages our healthy cells.
Here’s the good news. Antioxidants seek out and eliminate free radicals from our bodies before they can attack our cells. Our bodies produce antioxidants to eliminate free radicals as part of our biological makeup. However, with the increased oxidative stress brought on by smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, the body’s cells are subjected to more than it can fight off on its own.
Now, here’s the really good news. Vitamin C is widely recognized as one of the most potent antioxidants you can put in your body to attack free radicals.
If you’re a smoker, or you are continually exposed to secondhand smoke, you may want to consider taking precautions, such as a higher daily dose of vitamin C. According to the National Institute for Health, “studies consistently show that smokers have lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels than nonsmokers, due in part to increased oxidative stress.” For this reason they concluded that smokers, and those exposed to secondhand smoke, need more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers.
There are countless articles and studies on the antioxidant effects of vitamin C. If you’re plagued with the effects of smoking, we encourage you to do your homework and determine for yourself how vitamin C can be your ally in your quest for a healthier life.
At Altrient, we are passionate about health and we assume a responsibility for sharing information about living healthy. The content of our blogs is meant to help you sift through the hype to find reliable information about preventative health. We strive to give you basic facts and steer you to resources. We hope you’ll follow the bread crumbs to educate yourself and, in the process, get passionate about health, too.