Vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. But this doesn't even scratch what this nutrient can do for the human body. It's no wonder Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is one of the most widely known and taken supplements.
It provides a multitude of health benefits. But do you understand the key benefits of vitamin C and how to ensure you get enough? Read on as we explore the ins and outs of this important vitamin.
The best sources of vitamin C are whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Consider adding the foods below to your regular diet to increase your intake.
A daily serving or two of the above can help you meet your needs from real food rather than supplements alone. Keep in mind that vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat, light, and air. As such, you'll want to consume the above foods raw or lightly cooked and soon after cutting or peeling.
Dietary supplements are also a great source of vitamin C. They are beneficial for individuals who have difficulty eating enough fruits and vegetables. People with increased needs due to stress, illness, or smoking can also benefit from vitamin C supplements.
The recommended daily vitamin C intake is 90mg for men and 75mg for women. However, higher doses may be beneficial for optimal health and disease prevention. For instance, smokers need an additional 35mg per day.
Likewise, pregnant women need around 85mg per day. The recommended daily intake for infants is 50mg. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods can help reach these levels, but a doctor may also recommend supplements.
From supporting immune function to promoting cardiac health, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant essential for overall well-being. Here are some of the top scientifically proven benefits of getting enough vitamin C.
Perhaps the best benefit of vitamin C is its role in strengthening the immune system. As an antioxidant, it protects against oxidative stress, which destroys immune cells. It also produces white blood cells and increases activity, helping the body fight infections.
Vitamin C also helps enhance the activity of natural killer cells and antibodies. This goes a long way toward preventing or reducing the severity of infections. Moreover, the nutrient acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It modulates the immune response to avoid excessive inflammation.
Vitamin C is essential for synthesizing collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen gives strength and structure to our skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It also helps to heal wounds and repair tissues.
Without enough vitamin C, collagen production is impaired, and scurvy can develop. Bleeding gums, loose teeth, bruising, anemia, and poor wound healing characterize this rare but serious disease.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can protect our cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our DNA, proteins, and lipids. The result is aging, inflammation, and chronic diseases.
Vitamin C can neutralize free radicals and prevent or repair their damage. It also works with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E and glutathione, to enhance their effects. This reduces your risk of chronic diseases and more.
Vitamin C helps enhance the body's absorption of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron comes from plant sources like vegetables, beans, and grains. Studies show that getting enough vitamin C improves the uptake of this type of iron uptake from food.
Consuming vitamin C and iron-rich foods can boost iron levels. This helps prevent deficiencies like anemia. Certain groups at risk for low iron are especially likely to benefit from maximizing vitamin C intake.
Vitamin C has been shown to support cardiovascular health in key ways. Studies link higher vitamin C intake to a decreased risk of heart disease. Part of the reason for this is that it fights oxidative stress that damages blood vessels and arteries.
Vitamin C also benefits the heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. It helps prevent dangerous clot formation in the arteries as well.
While vitamin C is generally safe and well-tolerated, excessive intake may cause unwanted effects. Even though vitamin C is water soluble, excess amounts are typically flushed out in urine. Common side effects include:
High doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and bloating. These symptoms are usually mild and transient and can be avoided by reducing the dose. Taking the vitamin with food or water also helps.
Vitamin C can increase the excretion of oxalate in the urine, a substance that can form kidney stones in some people. People with a history of kidney stones or kidney disease should consult their doctor before taking high vitamin C doses or supplements.
Vitamin C may interact with some medications, affecting their efficacy or safety. For example, vitamin C may decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics, anticoagulants, and chemotherapy drugs. It may also increase the risk of bleeding or bruising when taken with aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in many bodily functions. It's best to get vitamin C from natural food sources, but dietary supplements can also be beneficial. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
SupplementRelief.com is your trusted partner for professional-grade supplements, including Vitamin C. Get in touch to learn more.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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Faith Hoffman has spent 23 years in business practices, research, and customer relations for brand products and national companies. Lengthy hospital stays for auto-immune disorders, including the onset of heart and liver disease, led her to research the benefits of quality all-natural supplements and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
She became a customer of SupplementRelief.com three years ago. Positive results from healthy lifestyle changes and using quality, targeted supplements compelled her to share and recommend SupplementRelief.com products to family, friends, and clients. Studying through her journey and having a passion for helping others, she joined SupplementRelief.com as a customer support specialist in 2023.
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|United States||Standard||3-6 Days||$4.95|
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Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.
FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.
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