Vitamin C: A Complete Guide : NUTRABAY™

Vitamin C: A Complete Guide

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. This essential vitamin is water-soluble and is naturally present in many fruits and vegetables. 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and serves several critical roles in the body. We need it for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, some neurotransmitters, and protein metabolism. Because our body can not store vitamin C, one must take it through diet or dietary supplements.

Vitamin C Foods

These are some vitamin C rich foods that one must include in daily diet.

  1. Amla
  2. Guava
  3. Kiwi
  4. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit and mosambi
  5. Bell Peppers
  6. Broccoli
  7. Strawberry
  8. Tomato
  9. Cabbage
  10. Cauliflower

Vitamin C Benefits

These are how vitamin C tablets or foods can benefit us.

  1. Powerful antioxidant: The potent antioxidant properties of Vitamin C protect our healthy cells and organs from the damaging effect of oxidative stress; inflammation and help improve the skin’s barriers. 
  2. Support immunity: Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infection and strengthen the immune system.
  3. Boost collagen production: Vitamin C is required to synthesize collagen – a connective tissue that keeps our ligaments, tendons, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and bones strong. 
  4. Healthy heart: Adequate vitamin C intake is associated with healthy heart functioning. Some studies found that people who consumed vitamin C supplements had better blood cholesterol levels and were less likely to develop heart diseases.   
  5. Promote iron absorption: If you are iron deficient, prefer taking iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C as it can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. As per some studies, 100 mg of vitamin C intake may improve iron absorption by 67%.
  6. Speed up wound healing: People with a low intake of vitamin C may experience slower wound healing, as the body cannot produce enough collagen.
  7. Help reduce uric acid levels: Several studies have shown that vitamin C may help flush out excess uric acid from the body and protect against gout attacks. 

Vitamin C Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Although vitamin C deficiency is rare, the chances increase during the following conditions:

  1. Smoking.
  2. Inadequate diet.
  3. Health conditions like leaky gut and Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  4. Substance abuse.

These are some vitamin C deficiency symptoms:

  1. Bleeding gums.
  2. Delayed wound healing.
  3. Poor skin health.
  4. Skin rashes.
  5. Hair fall.
  6. Weakness and fatigue.
  7. Bruising.
  8. Brittle nails.
  9. Weak immune health.
  10. Acne and skin rash.

Vitamin C Dosage

Vitamin C daily requirement is different for men and women. As per ICMR, men needs 80 mg, and women need 65 mg of vitamin C per day. This requirement increases during the pregnancy and lactation phase. 

One can take vitamin C supplements to meet daily needs. Although vitamin C toxicity is rare, there could be mild effects.

Common vitamin C side effects include abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, nausea and cramps. Since vitamin C enhances iron absorption, individuals with conditions that increase the risk of iron accumulation in the body should be cautious with vitamin C supplements. Excess intake of vitamin C can increase the amount of oxalate in the urine, thus increasing the risk of developing kidney stones. 

To sum up, vitamin C is essentially required by our body. It possesses strong antioxidant properties and plays a significant role in controlling infections; maintaining healthy bones, skin and cartilage. Therefore it is necessary to keep adequate dietary intake of vitamin C. If you prefer taking vitamin C supplements, it is advisable to check with a healthcare professional to ensure they are safe to use.

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