Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C
Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C? For whom?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in certain foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are compounds that convert the body's food into energy. People are exposed to free radicals in the atmosphere from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Also, the body needs vitamin C, collagen, the protein required to heal the wound. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron in plant-based foods and contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system.

How much Vitamin C do I need?

The amount of vitamin C you get per day depends on your age. The average daily amounts of vitamin C expressed in milligrams (mg) recommended for different age groups are as follows:

  • Infants as young as six months old received 40 mg
  • 50 mg of children aged 7 to 12 months
  • Children 1 to 3 years old 15 mg
  • 25 mg for children 4-8 years
  • Children 9 to 13 years of age 45 mg
  • Juvenile (male) 75 mg for 14-18 years
  • Teenagers (girls) age 14-18 years 65 mg
  • Adults (Male) 90 mg
  • Adults (Females) 75 mg
  • Pregnant teen 80 mg
  • Pregnant women 85 mg
  • 115 mg in breastfeeding teenagers
  • 120 mg in breastfeeding women
  • If you smoke, you will need 35 mg for the above values to calculate the amount of vitamin C needed each day.

Are foods a source of Vitamin C?

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. To eat recommended vitamin C, eat a variety of foods:

1. Citrus fruits (e.g., oranges and grapes/grapes) and their juices, as well as red and green chilies and kiwis, are rich in vitamin C.

2. Other fruits and vegetables, broccoli, strawberries, melons, roasted potatoes, and tomatoes, including vitamin C.

3. Some foods and drinks are fortified with vitamin C. Read product labels to see if vitamin C is present in the diet.

Vitamin C content in foods can be reduced when cooked or stored for long periods. Vitamin C deficiency can occur in steam or microwave ovens. Fortunately, the best sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, are eaten raw.

What Kinds of Vitamin C Dietary Supplements Are There?

Most multivitamin supplements contain vitamin C. Besides, this vitamin alone is available as a dietary supplement or a combination of other nutrients. Generally, vitamin C in foods is in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements contain different types of sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and bioflavonoid acetic acid. Scientific studies have not shown which form of vitamin C is more effective than others.

Do I get enough Vitamin C?

Most people get adequate amounts of vitamin C from foods and beverages. However, some groups of people may have trouble getting enough vitamin C than others:

1. Smokers and people who smoke cigarettes because smoking increases the amount of vitamin C, the body needs to correct free radical damage. Smokers need 35 mg more vitamin C per day.

2. Infants must be fed, evaporated, or boiled in cow's milk, as cow's milk contains minimal vitamin C and heat destroys this vitamin. Cow milk is not recommended for infants under one year of age. Mother's milk and baby formula contain enough vitamin C.

3. People who eat minimal types of food.

4. People with certain health disorders, such as severe hypoabsorption (inadequate absorption), certain types of cancer, and kidney disease requiring hemodialysis.

What if I don't get enough Vitamin C?

For several weeks, people who take low or low vitamin C (less than 10 mg per day) may have scurvy. Itching, fatigue, gingivitis, minor red or pleura spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and lead to curly or "corkscrew" hair. Depression, swelling, and bleeding from the gums and loose or lose teeth are other symptoms of the disease. People with scurvy also have anemia. Without treatment, scurvy is fatal.

What are some of the health effects of Vitamin C?

Scientists are studying how vitamin C can affect health. Some examples of the results of these findings are as follows:

Cancer prevention and treatment
When eating fruits and vegetables, people who overeat vitamin C are at lower risk for a variety of cancers, including lung cancer, breast, and colon cancer. However, taking vitamin C dietary supplements with or without other antioxidants does not help prevent disease.

It is not known whether high vitamin C intake is useful in treating cancer. The effects of vitamin C depend on how the patient is managed. An oral vitamin C dose may not raise the level of vitamin C in the blood to nearly intravenous injection levels. Some animal studies and test tubes indicate that an excess of vitamin C in the blood reduces the tumor. However, additional studies are needed to determine if high doses of intravenous vitamin C contribute to cancer treatment.

Dietary supplements of vitamin C and other antioxidants may interact with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer. People undergoing cancer treatment should consult an oncologist before taking vitamin C drugs or other foods, especially at high concentrations.

Heart disease
People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables are at a lower risk of heart disease. Since oxidative damage is one of the significant causes of heart disease, the researchers believe that the antioxidant in these foods may be partly responsible for this supplement. However, scientists are still unsure if vitamin C is present in foods or supplements and helps protect people from heart disease. It is unknown whether vitamin C contributes to the development of heart disease in those who suffer from it.

Age-related macular degeneration and cataract
Age-related macular degeneration and cataract are the two leading causes of vision loss in the elderly. Researchers do not believe that vitamin C and other antioxidants can affect the risk of age-related macular degeneration. However, research studies have shown that vitamin C, along with other nutrients, can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

A large scientific study of older people with age-related macular degeneration, who was at high risk for advanced-stage atrophy, supplemented with a daily diet of 500 mg of vitamin C, 80 mg of zinc, and 400 IU of vitamin E. For about six years, 15 mg beta carotene and 2 mg of copper are less likely to reach the advanced stage of the disorder. Also, they have less vision loss than those who do not consume foods. However, people with or suffering from the disease are advised to talk to their doctor about the possibility of taking food.

It is not clear what the relationship between vitamin C and cataract is. Some studies suggest that people who eat high amounts of vitamin C are at a lower risk of cataract. However, further studies are needed to elucidate this supplement and determine if vitamin C supplements affect cataract risk.

Common cold
While vitamin C has long been a popular remedy for the common cold, research studies show that vitamin C supplementation in most people does not reduce the risk of catching a cold. However, those who take vitamin C supplements regularly may experience colds of slightly shorter duration or somewhat milder symptoms of bronchitis. Taking vitamin C supplements doesn't seem to be helpful once cold symptoms begin, either.

Can Vitamin C be harmful?

Intake of vitamin C is too high concentrations can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. In people with hemochromatosis, a disorder that causes excessive iron accumulation in the body, vitamin C in high doses could worsen excess iron and damage body tissues.

Below are the daily upper limits for vitamin C:

  • Babies up to 12 months of age Not determined
  • Children from 1 to 3 years old 400 mg
  • Children 4-8 years old 650 mg
  • Children from 9 to 13 years old 1,200 mg
  • Teens 14-18 years old 1,800 mg
  • Adults 2,000 mg 

Are there interactions with Vitamin C that I should be aware of?

Vitamin C dietary supplements can interact or interfere with the medications you take. For example:

  • Vitamin C nutritional supplements may interact with cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is not known for sure if vitamin C could have the unwanted effect of protecting tumor cells from cancer treatments or protect healthy tissues from damage. If you are receiving cancer treatment, talk to your healthcare provider before taking vitamin C supplements or other antioxidants, especially in high concentrations.
  • In one study, vitamin C combined with other antioxidants (such as vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene) reduced the cardiac protection effects of two drugs taken in combination (a statin and niacin) to control cholesterol levels. It is not known whether this interaction also occurs with other statins. Health professionals should monitor lipid levels in people taking statins and antioxidant supplements.

Last, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, and other health professionals about the dietary supplements and medications you take. They will tell you if these nutritional supplements might interact with your prescription or non-prescription drugs, or if the medications could interfere with the way your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.