Vitamin C: What You Need To Know

Vitamin C facts

Normal growth and development of the body is linked to Vitamin C. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin and it is urinated out, you need to keep a constant supply flowing into your body. We don’t make or store Vitamin C within our bodies, so we need to get it from food or supplement sources to add to our daily diet. It’s an exceptionally important vitamin, so read on to learn the facts you need to know about Vitamin C.  

The Amazing Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been touted as the first line of defense for things like warding off the common cold, or shortening the duration of a virus. While others may say that train of thought is very old wives-tale-ish, Vitamin C definitely has hosts of benefits for the human body.  

What Vitamin C does for your body:

  • Antioxidant: As an antioxidant, Vitamin C can help boost your immune system which helps your body fight off infections and inflammations. Vitamin C helps to protect you from free radicals, which basically come from air, food, water, and basically everything around us. Those electrons, which are also everywhere, like to travel in pairs. But oftentimes they get loose as a single one and they can unleash havoc on your cells. Antioxidants fight off these loose cannon electrons. 
  • Blood pressure: Having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease. While the actual effects of long term Vitamin C usage is unclear, taking it on a regular basis has been shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Don’t go off your blood pressure meds, though. Take Vitamin C in conjunction with your prescriptions.
  • Heart disease: Taking a Vitamin C supplement regularly has been shown to decrease the risk of heart attacks by 25 percent when compared with people who never take Vitamin C. It can help to lower cholesterol, which great impacts heart health. 
  • Gout: Gout mainly affects adults. It’s an arthritis type of disease and it causes painful inflammation in the joints, especially the feet and toes. This happens when there is a buildup of uric acid. Vitamin C can help decrease that uric acid, and lessen the chances of gout attacks. 
  • Iron absorption: We need iron to make our red blood cells and to allow oxygen to make its way through our bodies. Low iron results in anemia, and it’s an issue for people who don’t get foods high in iron, or have a condition that makes them prone to iron deficiency. Taking Vitamin C can greatly increase iron absorption by creating a film around nonheme iron, helping it to travel through the body into the intestines and allowing for better and more effective absorption. Non Heme iron is found in plant-based foods such as veggies, nuts, and grains. Heme iron is found in meat-based food through the blood and muscles. 
  • Immunity: Our bodies need Vitamin C for our bones, immunity, and skin, yet we are unable to make this vitamin on our own. Consistently getting enough Vitamin C every day through external sources like diet or supplements is important to staying healthy. 

Vitamin C’s ability to keep away the common cold is debatable. However, there is proof that people who regularly take Vitamin C in higher doses shave off at least a day of a cold. The key is to take it every single day, not just when you believe you’re coming down with something. 

  • Age: As people age, their minds and memories begin to weaken. Dementia is one of the conditions brought on by this. Ample and regular doses of Vitamin C can protect your memory and mind, keeping it sharp for longer. 
  • Skin: Simply put, Vitamin C can help keep your skin looking younger longer by boosting the collagen you naturally produce. 
  • Stress: Vitamin C can help lower cortisol levels which get boosted during stressful events. And, Vitamin C also helps regulate blood pressure, another function that triggers when stressed. 

If you’re pregnant, do not take more than the recommended daily dose because it could lead to a Vitamin C deficiency in your baby after delivery. 

Foods Highest in Vitamin C

Looking beyond the typical orange, Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables. It’s not always in high amounts, but it’s there. To get the full recommended daily allowance, you need 9 servings of fruit and vegetables. It’s not always easy to accomplish, which is why so many people add a daily supplement. 

Fruits and Veggies with the highest amount of Vitamin C are

  • Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Watermelon
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit. Just one glass of OJ meets the daily recommended!
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Potatoes both sweet and white
  • Tomatoes in any form. 1 cup of tomato juice per day, and you’re good.
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, cabbage, and turnip greens

They are all most powerful in raw form. But, of course, you won’t eat potatoes or squash unless it’s cooked. Microwaving and steaming won’t reduce the amount of Vitamin C in the same capacity longer cooking times or storing cooked foods will. 

When Vitamin C is exposed to light, its potency is reduced. So purchasing your juice in cartons instead of glass is a good idea. 

Get your daily Vitamin C dose from Tespo’s Personalized Pods.

What Are The Side Effects of Vitamin C?

There are really no known side effects when it comes to taking Vitamin C. If you take too much, you can get a very upset stomach mixed with diarrhea, and it has the potential to cause kidney stones. 

In people with certain conditions that can increase the iron in their bodies, you may want to proceed with caution when taking Vitamin C. Too much iron can cause damage to your heart, kidney, pancreas, and nervous system. Err on the side of caution. 

Reality is, for most humans, it’s exceptionally difficult to take too much Vitamin C because of how quickly your body eliminates it. 

With all that being said, it’s way worse to not get enough Vitamin C. There are serious side effects and it can make you very sick. 

Not enough Vitamin C can negatively impact your health. 

  • Scurvy which is caused by a severe Vitamin C deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Gingivitis
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Weak tooth enamel
  • Dry, brittle hair and nails
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Easy bruising
  • Harder to heal and fight infections

Who Needs Higher Doses Of Vitamin C?

Some things affect how much Vitamin C your body is able to access. 

  • Smokers/passive smokers
  • Infants who have been fed evaporated or boiled milk
  • Individuals who don’t have access to well rounded food groups: drug and alcohol addicts, some elderly, some ‘foodies’, picky eaters, and those with mental illness

Some Possible Vitamin C Side Effects

While most people are able to safely take Vitamin C, there are some factors making it hazardous to add Vitamin C to their diet. In particular, some medications can be affected by higher doses of the vitamin. 

  • Antacids: If you’re taking antacids, be sure to take your Vitamin C at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking the antacid.
  • Estrogen: Taking Vitamin C may spike the effects of estrogen and cause worse side effects.

Read: What You Need To Know About Menopause

  • AIDS/HIV: Some of the medications taken for HIV/AIDS may be negatively affected if too much Vitamin C is taken.
  • Blood clotting meds: If you’re on Warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent blood clotting, then take caution with the Vitamin C as it may decrease the effectiveness. Be sure to get your blood taken regularly, and your doctor may have to adjust your Coumadin dose accordingly. 
  • Tylenol and aspirin: Large doses of Vitamin C potentially decreases these pain relievers effectiveness.
  • Statin medication: Medication such as Lipitor is taken to lower cholesterol. When Vitamin C is introduced with beta-carotene, selenium, and Vitamin E, it could have negative results on the effectiveness of the cholesterol-lowering medication. 

With Vitamin C or any other supplement, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure proper dosing. 

Further Reading:

Is Vitamin A Really That Awesome?

Are You Aware of The Powerful Vitamin Bs?

Disclaimer: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that you consult with a health care professional before using any dietary supplement. Many supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, and such products may not be safe in all people.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/#h5

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