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Vitamin C

By February 22, 2018Supplements

Vitamin C

 

Introduction

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.

Benefits

  • Helps in Regenerating & Repair Muscles Tissues: Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and triglycerides.
  • Helps in Reducing the Risk of Cancer: Research indicates that vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain forms of cancer).
  • Helps in various Medical Conditions: Supplemental vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold, help delay or prevent cataracts, and support healthy immune function.

Recommendations for Adults

The recommended vitamin C daily allowance for adults over age 19 is:

  • Men, 90 milligrams per day
  • Women, 75 milligrams per day
  • Pregnant women, 85 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women, 120 milligrams per day.
  • Smokers may benefit from a higher intake.

Recommendations for Infants

  • infants 0-6 months old, 40 milligrams per day
  • infants 7-12 months old, 50 milligrams per day.

Recommendations for Children and Teens

  • toddlers 1-3 years old, 15 milligrams per day
  • children 4-8 years old, 25 milligrams per day
  • children 9-13 years old, 45 milligrams per day
  • male teens 14-18 years old, 75 milligrams per day
  • female teens 14-18 years old, 65 milligrams per day

Vitamin C in Foods

Vitamin C is easy to get through foods, as many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C.

Good sources include:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Melon (Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon)
  • Cauliflower
  • Citrus Fruits (lemons, limes, oranges)
  • Kiwi
  • Fortified Foods (Breads, Grains, Cereal)
  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Risk Factors in Vitamin C

  • When obtained from food sources and supplements in the recommended dosages, vitamin C is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rarely reported, but include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • For most healthy individuals, the body can only hold and use about 200-250 milligrams of vitamin C a day, and any excess is lost though urine.
  • At times of illness, during recovery from injury, or under conditions of increased oxidative stress (including smoking), the body can use greater amounts.
  • High doses of vitamin C (greater than 2,000 milligrams/day) may contribute to the formation of kidney stones, as well as cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and gastritis.

Some Special Considerations in Vitamin C

Vitamin C may increase absorption of iron and lutein. Although some evidence suggests that large doses of supplemental vitamin C may interfere with the absorption and metabolism of vitamin B12 which is found in food. However! Other studies have shown no such effects. Adverse effects may occur between vitamin C and anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin), decreasing their action. Nicotine products, oral contraceptives/estrogens, tetracyclines, barbiturates, and aspirin may decrease levels of vitamin C.

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