Lose weight faster with vitamin C
We are all so concerned with the obesity epidemic that we tend to look to high-tech science for solutions. In doing so, however, we forget that we can also lose weight by introducing subtle changes to our diet. Nutritionist Carol Johnston argues this in an article about different ways to lose weight. One way is to simply increase your vitamin C intake.
Most of us think we consume enough vitamin C, but we forget that large amounts of the vitamin are lost during food processing, says Johnston. As a result, up to a quarter of all Americans have too little vitamin C in their bodies. Doctors have reported cases of scurvy in recent literature.
A vitamin C deficiency reduces the body's synthesis of L-carnitine, a compound that the mitochondria need to burn fatty acids.
Johnston got a group of test subjects to eat a diet that was low in vitamin C for four weeks, and at the end of the period tested their stamina and fat-burning capacity on the treadmill. After that the same subjects were given a supplement containing 500 mg vitamin C every day for four weeks. After this month of repletion, the subjects' performance on the treadmill was recorded. Both treadmill sessions lasted an hour.
The figure below shows what happened during that hour when the subjects had a vitamin C shortage (depleted) and when this shortage had been replenished (repleted).
Johnston also measured the amount of fat the subjects burned while on the treadmill.
Johnston also refers to another study she found in which researchers put two groups of subjects on a weight-loss diet. One group was given a placebo and the other got a couple of grams of vitamin C (structural formula below) each day. After six weeks the subjects in the placebo group had lost just under a kilogram. [Nutr Health. 1985; 4(1): 25-8.] Those in the vitamin group had lost 2.5 kilograms. Johnston thinks that her research explains why this was so.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun;24(3):158-65.
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