Vitamin C and Holistic Medicine
Among other health benefits, vitamin C improves the health of your dog's skin.
Randy Kidd, DVM, Ph.D.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), one example of the “uploaders” that benefit skin cells, has been well documented as a skin helper. In addition to its antioxidative capacity, vitamin C participates in several biological roles, including protecting the skin against sunlight and its primary role in collagen synthesis, which is crucial for skin regeneration and wound repair. Vitamin C also modulates keratinocyte and lymphocyte differentiation, helping to produce healthier mature skin and cells of the immune system.
Further, vitamin C has at least two beneficial effects for cancer prevention: it is beneficial to the inner-cell mechanism that helps damaged cells die off rather than grow into tumor cells; and it seems to help the effects of at least some chemotherapeutic agents.
Finally, we know that vitamin C is accumulated in healthy skin cells, apparently waiting there for any increased need. And, it is found in lower amounts in cells of older animals, a possible reason for increased cell aging in the elderly.
Veterinarians have been taught that dogs do not need vitamin C because they can produce it themselves. However, most holistic vets feel that there are plenty of occasions when the “normal” amount of produced vitamin C isn’t enough for the need – one example being skin allergies that require enhanced antioxidant and healing activities. My own recommendation is to routinely add maintenance levels of vitamin C to the diet, and to increase these amounts to therapeutic levels whenever necessary. Check with your holistic vet for dosages.
Interested in reading more about holistic medicine and the natural approach to your dog's health? Go to www.dogworld.com to check out Dog World magazine's latest news and information in dogdom.
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