Vitamin C Gives Staying Power to Antioxidants

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December 04, 2007 | 60,053 views

Those who take lemon juice in their tea may be getting far more of the health benefits, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Catechins are naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea; complementing green tea with either citrus juices or vitamin C increases the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb.

Catechins may be responsible for some of green tea‘s reported health benefits, such as a reduced risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke. But catechins are relatively unstable in the intestines meaning that less than 20 percent of the total generally remains after digestion.

Citrus juice increased available catechin levels by more than five times, and vitamin C increased recovered levels of the two most abundant catechins by six-fold and thirteen-fold.

Lemon juice caused 80 percent of tea‘s catechins to remain available.

Mario Ferruzi, the study’s lead author, is currently conducting an in vivo study (study on a live organism) to find out if increased levels of intestinal catechins will actually translate to higher levels of absorbed catechins in your body.


The modern lifestyle is built around speed, but as a previous article pointed out, living the fast life may rob you of the good life. Once in a while, it’s good to stop and ask yourself, “Am I living my life fully, or am I just rushing through it?”

Incorporating the habit of eating slower can be that first step to a more relaxed, more fulfilling life—that moment each day when you “stop and smell the roses,” if you will. Slowing down your eating will also help you better digest your food, as you will be chewing it more and mixing it with salivary digestive enzymes. Additionally, chewing helps stimulate intestinal digestive enzyme release.

People are slowly but surely beginning to recognize that certain “slow” times are a vital part of life—without them, you are missing some of the most important reasons for being alive. Once those moments are passed, you can’t get them back at a later “more convenient time.”

Eating slower also goes right along with the lifestyle of eating healthier food, rather than zipping through the nearest fast food joint. This combination of healthier selections, together with slowing down the whole eating process (and sharing time with others), can put you squarely on the right track toward a healthier body, mind and emotional state.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful catechin found in green tea, and catechins, in turn, belong to the polyphenol family, which are widely acclaimed for disease prevention and anti-aging purposes.  

For centuries, catechins have been known to:

The catechin in green tea has even been shown to treat diabetes with the same level of effectiveness as the disastrous drug Avandia, so drinking green tea is certainly one of your healthier beverage options, after pure water. 

The green tea catechin EGCG in particular is a very noteworthy antioxidant; it’s estimated to be 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E, and can fight a host of illnesses, including:

One study even found that EGCG might help to neutralize some of the toxins formed by high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and help to reduce the association between high-fructose corn syrup and diabetes.

Being able to increase the absorption of this beneficial antioxidant by simply adding some lemon juice is certainly an easy and healthy alternative to taking antioxidant supplements

What You Need to Know About Green Tea and Citrus

When choosing a green tea, be aware that previous research has found high levels of fluoride present in some teas. Fluoride is a toxic substance that can have profoundly negative effects on your body. So if you consume large amounts of green tea for health benefits, you might want to invest some time in researching a brand that is low in fluoride

Also, keep in mind that citrus (which is actually a highly alkalizing food) is also one of the more allergenic foods. Protein types will also usually not do well with citrus, so start with just a few drops to make sure you do not experience any problematic symptoms, such as itching, or gastrointestinal problems.

A Word of Caution Against Vitamin C Supplements

Every nutrient you ingest raises or lowers up to nine other nutrients in your body. For example, taking large doses of vitamin C lowers your level of copper, so if you are already deficient in copper and take high doses of vitamin C, you can compromise your immune system.

Every nutrient needs certain synergistic nutrients, and if you are already low in those synergistic nutrients, taking more of one thing will only further deplete the existing deficient levels, worsening any problems relating to that nutrient’s metabolism.

That said however, as long as you do not take vitamin C supplements but rather add a squirt of lemon juice to your tea, the likelihood of creating a problem should be pretty much nonexistent.addition to selecting as much fresh, locally grown organic foods as you can, following a diet that is custom made for your nutritional type will bring you optimal results.


When you eat just the right fuel that your body needs, your overall health will improve in many profound ways. You can expect to:

Please also remember that we offer a free Nutritional Typing Mini Course that explains even more about nutritional typing and all the benefits it offers.