Overview of Vitamin C
Being regarded as one of the safest and most effective supplements, Vitamin C is no stranger to the general public. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a nutrient that your body cannot produce on its own, nor does the body store it. Most common sources of Vitamin C are from fresh fruits (such as oranges) and vegetables (such as red and green bell peppers).
Vitamin C has many benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s immune system. It does it by protecting your cells against free radicals. These are harmful molecules which result from our regular processes, exposure to pollution and other environmental factors (such as smoking). Other functions of Vitamin C include helping the body absorb iron and helping your body produce collagen.
The recommended amount of Vitamin C to take in a day is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Most people get them sufficiently from a well-balanced diet. There are some groups that are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin C, such as:
- Regular smokers or drinkers
- Have certain gastrointestinal conditions (such as intestinal malabsorption), cancer or kidney conditions
- Have a limited diet that doesn't regularly include fruits and vegetables (such as children, elderly)
Having insufficient vitamin C can lead to a medical condition called scurvy, which causes iron-deficiency anemia, inflamed gums, bruising and poor wound healing. Hence, it will be useful to take a Vitamin C supplement with their well-balanced diet.
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is 2000mg daily. This refers to the highest amount of Vitamin C a person can take in a day, and it being not likely to cause side effects. Some possible side effects are stomach discomfort (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), headache, and fatigue.
It is advised to consult with a medical professional before starting on a Vitamin C supplement or start with a minimum amount to test for any side effect. Start with a minimum amount to test for any side effect, it is possible for Vitamin C to interact with some medications (such as warfarin), medical tests and medical conditions.