In defence of IVF, benefits of Vitamin C
Last year, I read an article that portrayed in vitro fertilisation as devilish. I will like to lend my voice to that discussion. Please, permit me to use some biblical references. I have to tread that path because the writer did so.
Let me start this way. Most minerals occur in their impure forms in nature; oil is in its crude form, most metals are in the form of ores, which require purification before they can be useful. Why are nature’s resources occurring in crude forms that require elaborate technologies for harnessing? The answer is simple: man has had to earn his survival since he fell from the Garden of Eden. Genesis chapter 3 verse 19 bears eloquent testimony: “…in the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread…” Through his intellect, which is the greatest gift to him, man has found ways to extract and process all these natural resources which are finite and hidden. Let us look at hybridisation. It is the effort of man to create new variability from the resources of nature. It is an advancement of God’s work based on the knowledge of His principles. In vitro fertilisation is one of the technologies that show that man has a formidable intellect.
A creative apprentice learning tailoring from his boss will end up creating more beautiful designs than he has been taught. Psalms 82 verse 6 says, “I have said it, ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most high”. If we are made in God’s image and we are his children, then, we should exhibit our father’s traits. God is a miracle worker, we should be problem solvers too. All these efforts (including IVF) by man to add value to God’s work is like starting where one’s father stopped!
Some women get pregnant at first touch; many others can only achieve conception unless they go through assisted reproduction. So, if there is any form of procedure that will put smiles on the faces of the large percentage of women who cannot achieve conception on their own, I think such should be encouraged. For the procedure, fertilisation occurs outside the womb, after which the embryo is then transferred to the woman’s womb. Through it, the promise of procreation is fulfilled. This is in harmony with the wish of God for man in Genesis 1 verse 28 which says, “Then God blessed them and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’”.
I want you to know that nothing will stand if it violates the laws of nature. In July 1978, Louise Brown was the first child successfully born after her mother received IVF treatment, so, the procedure has been here for a long time and it has come to stay. There is nothing anti-God about it. Man is just taking dominion as he has been charged to do. So, if you are battling with infertility and you have the financial capabilities to go for IVF, please do.
This week, I will discuss Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. It is the most abused vitamin supplement. Can you raise your hand in all truthfulness that you do not have a bottle of Vitamin C tablets that was not prescribed by your doctor in your home? Just like the B vitamins, Vitamin C is also water-soluble. When it is mentioned, what comes to people’s minds are oranges, limes and lemons. What if I tell you that there are other fruits that are higher in Vitamin C than oranges?
Doubling as both an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant,
eating Vitamin C foods can have a huge impact on your health inside out. Of all its functions, it is probably best known for its role in immunity. A study found that being deficient in Vitamin C can impair immune function and leave you at risk of developing infections. Interestingly, several studies have shown that Vitamin C may help reduce uric acid in the blood and as a result, protect against gout attacks. For example, a study including 1,387 men found that those who consumed the most Vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid than those who consumed the least.
It assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron into a form that is easier to absorb. Eating high Vitamin C foods may reduce your risk of developing lung, breast and colon cancers as well as cardiovascular diseases. It helps encourage the production of white blood cells and helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen and is present in skin, muscle and other tissues. High Vitamin C intake has been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory as you age. Moreover, several studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower blood levels of Vitamin C. It is also vital to your body’s healing process. The vitamin is responsible for the health of teeth and gums.
Vitamin C not only helps combat hair loss but also retains the natural colour by preventing premature aging of hair. It helps fight the bacteria on the scalp, wards off dandruff, and encourages hair growth. It increases the formation of elastin, which thickens, protects, and heals the skin cells. It lightens dark discoloration like skin freckles and age spots and helps you get younger and smoother skin. It boosts energy. It encourages weight loss and has mood-elevating effects. It prevents scurvy and aids in the treatment of Osteoarthritis
Let me start with the list of food sources with more Vitamin C than oranges. Bell pepper (red and yellow) popularly called ‘tatase’ in Yoruba contain more Vitamin C than oranges. Hibiscus Sabdariffa, which is zobo plant, is higher in Vitamin C than oranges. African star apple, known as agbalumo (Yoruba), Udara (Igbo) is also richer in Vitamin C than oranges. Guava, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, kiwifruit, pawpaw, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale and cauliflower are all high in Vitamin C. Other sources of the vitamin are citrus fruits like limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruits.
A study titled, ‘The Neuropsychiatric Effects of Vitamin C Deficiency: A Systematic Review’ by David Plevin, et al, shows that there is evidence suggesting that Vitamin C deficiency is related to adverse mood and cognitive effects.
Another study, titled, ‘Vitamin C and Immune Function’ by Anitra C Carr, et al, shows that it is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.
A study, titled, ‘The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health’ by Juliet M. Pullar, et al, revealed that collagen hydroxylases were the first Vitamin C function that was closely tied to the symptoms of scurvy. The realisation of the importance of this function for the maintenance of skin health throughout the human lifespan led to the hypothesised skin health benefit of Vitamin C. In addition, the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C made it an excellent candidate as a protective factor against UV irradiation.
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