What is Vitamin C? – What are the sources of Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is not stored in the body and any excess amount consumed goes through your body. Vitamin C also promotes iron absorption in the body when taken with food rich in Vitamin C such as oranges.
Ascorbic Acid, the common term for Vitamin C, was isolated from lemons in 1932 by Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi who won a Nobel Prize for this discovery.
What are the sources of Vitamin C? How much Vitamin C should I consume daily?
Vitamin C is available from many food sources, such as citrus fruits (oranges, lemons), papayas, berries, green leafy vegetables (spinach), tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, and many more.
Vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen which is used to repair wounds and our body’s tissues. Vitamin C helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol that causes blockages in arteries. It also helps in the absorption of iron by the body.
Eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day are recommended for adults, including at least one serving of citrus fruit or 100% orange juice daily. Many people take Vitamin C supplements as insurance against not getting enough Vitamin C from dietary sources. However, there is no scientific research to prove that taking Vitamin C supplements is helpful for people.
What are the side effects of Vitamin C?
Consumption of very high amounts of Vitamin C has been linked to nausea and abdominal cramps, especially when taken on an empty stomach or together with foods such as dairy products or other supplements.
However, the disagreement over whether Vitamin C intake above 250 mg per day is hazardous continues among researchers. High doses may also cause kidney stones in some people, so it is best to consult your doctor about this before deciding on the dose.
Every individual has different dietary needs. Vitamin C supplementation or food sources are not substitutes for a balanced diet, but rather complements to an overall healthy lifestyle.
How do I read Vitamin C levels?
Vitamin C tests are usually ordered after a patient has been suffering from fatigue, muscle weakness, and frequent infections.
There are three types of Vitamin C tests:
serum (blood) vitamin C, red blood cell (RBC) ascorbic acid level, and white blood cell (WBC) ascorbic acid levels. Each test gives a different aspect of Vitamin C status.
In Vitamin C testing, it is best to have the test repeated after a period of time for comparison purposes. The normal values are:
Vitamin C Serum: 35-55 μmol/L (μg/dl or mg%)
RBC Ascorbic Acid: 45-75 μmol/L (μg/dl or mg%)
WBC Ascorbic Acid: 25-75 μmol/L (μg/dl or mg%)
The specific ranges for Vitamin C are determined by the lab that you choose. The following are examples of lab ranges provided by Medline Plus
Vitamin C Serum: 29-74 μmol/L (mg%)
RBC Ascorbic Acid: 43-70 μmol/L (mg%)
WBC Ascorbic Acid: 22-67 μmol/L (mg%)
For RBC and WBC In-Vitro diagnostics, the normal values are usually lower than for serum. The reason is that for RBC, the normal values are about 1/3 lower than serum values to account for plasma contribution. For WBC, they are even lower because there is an additional contribution from platelets.
It is best to discuss your concerns with a qualified physician or nutritionist before making any changes in supplementation or diet since individual needs vary greatly.
One should remember that Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore washes out of the body within hours after ingestion, so it is important not to take too much.
Vitamin C can be stored in the liver and other tissues and gradually released. However, if large amounts are consumed at one time, the excess will be excreted in the urine.
It is therefore not harmful to take Vitamin C supplements when levels are mildly low, but high doses should be avoided.
Adding high doses of supplemental Vitamin C to one’s diet may interfere with the ability to determine when the body has enough Vitamin C and can cause kidney stones in some people when taken over a long period of time.
what is vitamin c good for:
Vitamin C is one of the most common nutrients known to man, and is frequently referred to as “the immune system vitamin.” Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants protect cells from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are natural by-products of metabolic processes that help us fight infection; they are also formed when we are exposed to environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, radiation, or excess sunlight. Free radicals can damage cells just like rust corrodes metal. This is where antioxidants play their role by deactivating free radicals.
Vitamin C is the body’s most abundant antioxidant and is found in almost every cell of the human body; in fact, vitamin C is even made by the human body in small amounts. Vitamin C has several important functions in the body including:
·Promoting growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, especially bones, cartilage, teeth, gums, muscles, and blood vessels
·Maintaining healthy teeth and gums
·Promoting wound healing
·Protecting against cell damage from environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, radiation, or excess sunlight
Vitamin C is a highly water-soluble vitamin. This means that a little of the vitamin goes a long way. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are carried through the bloodstream to areas that need them, then they are discarded through urine or stool.
Because it is soluble in water, Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so it must be replenished each day either by eating foods containing vitamin C or through the use of a vitamin C supplement.
vitamin c tablets benefits:
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that it cannot be stored in the body. The body also does not make vitamin C on its own, so people must get it from their diets or supplements. Vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient that protects cells against damage by free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules created through normal metabolic processes and environmental exposures. They play an important role in cell signaling, but they can also damage cells. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C neutralize free radicals before they cause cellular damage.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, a structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Vitamin C supplements are often taken with vitamin E for their synergistic effects. Vitamin C is also needed to make carnitine, which is required for the conversion of fat to energy.
Vitamin C supplements may be effective for preventing and treating viral colds. Although there are many studies that show an association between vitamin C intake and a reduced risk of getting cold or less severe symptoms if you do get sick, there are also studies that found no benefit.
When given a high dose (2 g/day) by injection, vitamin C helps protect against oxidative stress in smokers, asbestos workers, and individuals exposed to toxic levels of heavy metals. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin C may help treat heart disease, but more studies are needed to draw any conclusions.
Vitamin C is one of the safest supplements available, and it can be taken in large amounts without harmful side effects. Vitamin C is likely safe when used orally in amounts up to 2000 mg daily (higher doses may cause gastrointestinal side effects).
Large doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. There have been some reports that large amounts of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones in some people.
vitamin c vegetables:
carrots, bell peppers, chili peppers, green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, berries
vitamin c fruits:
kiwi fruit, oranges and orange juice, grapefruit, and grapefruit juice.
vitamin c food sources:
Red chili peppers contain more than 1g/100g, lemons and limes contain about 1g/100g. Kiwi fruit contains 100-200mg/100g, acerola cherry juice contains 1000mg/100ml.
vitamin c deficiency symptoms: fatigue, depression, frequent infections, slow wound healing, joint pain or bone pain that doesn’t go away when the weather changes, anemia.
Symptoms of too much vitamin C:
Possible symptoms of too much Vitamin C are nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas.
If you experience any of these symptoms stop taking your vitamins immediately.
vitamin c research:
The chemical name for Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. It has many effects on the body, including helping wound-healing (in combination with collagen), protecting against oxidative stress, preserving healthy connective tissue and bone health. Vitamin C is also essential for immune function, iron metabolism, and reproduction.
Vitamin C has been shown to work well as an antioxidant in many different studies, but there are also some that show no antioxidant benefits. Vitamin C has been shown to help protect against harmful toxins, such as heavy metals and cigarette smoke, in many studies. One study showed that vitamin c combined with vitamin e may fight certain types of cancer more effectively than either antioxidant alone.
There are links between insufficient intake of vitamin C and increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, asthma. There is also evidence that consuming vitamin C regularly may reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer, including stomach cancer and colorectal (colon) cancer.