Vitamin C Can Act As A Pro
What is a pro-oxidant? Its the opposite of an antioxidant. Instead of neutralizing reactive oxygen species it creates them by generating oxidative stress. This is a drawback that antioxidants can have to varying degrees, dependent on their concentration and the environment they are in.
In short, a pro-oxidant effect is the opposite of what you want!
Fully describing the Fenton and Haber-Weiss reactions will have to be a topic for another time!
In the case of vitamin C, the concerning reason it can act as a pro-oxidant is because it has been found to reduce metal ions through whats called the Fenton reaction. A symptom of overdose that you cant even detect!
Describing the Fenton reaction in full will make your eyes glaze. The important thing to know about is that its considered one of the most powerful methods of oxidation. This effect has been theorized to be a contributor to Parkinsons, Huntingtons, and Alzheimers diseases, among others.
Its inconclusive whether the thousands of different polyphenol antioxidants, which are non-vitamin micronutrients found in plants, also have the tendency to spur the Fenton reaction. Not to say they dont, but at least to date, theres not evidence to support that and research strongly suggests their antioxidant activity to be quite beneficial for your health.
What makes ascorbic acid unique is that it can recycle ferrous iron ions to continue to generate ROS, with more Fenton cycles. This is why vitamin C and iron is a bad combo.
Should I Take More Vitamin C When Im Sick
Many people pop vitamin C pills when they feel a cold coming on. Though vitamin C helps the immune system, it does very little for a cold.
A study from the Australian National University found that vitamin C supplements did not prevent colds at all. Supplementation, in a few cases, helped people get over the cold a little bit faster since about 8 percent of participants had one less day of sickness due to vitamin C.
If you want to play it safe and add more vitamin C when youre sick, its still best to do it through food. Add more citrus or greens. Even if the vitamin C doesnt make a difference, the healthy food will help you feel better.
Current Nhs Guidelines Rely On A Wwii Study From When Food Was In Short Supply
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
The recommended dose of vitamin C should be doubled, according to a recent study.
Scientists behind the claim have described the methods behind the 1944 study that continues to inform current day levels as shocking.
However, academics behind a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have said that the research conducted by The Sorby Research Institute was to assess the nutrition levels of Britons during World War II when food was in short supply.
At this time, the aim was to avoid scurvy, rather than maximising health, they claim.
Read Also: Where To Get Vitamin B Injections
Whats The Recommended Intake
The Institute of Medicine has developed a set of reference values for specific nutrient intake levels, including for vitamin C.
One set of guidelines is known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance and considers average daily nutrient intake from both foods and supplements.
RDA recommendations for specific gender and age groups should meet the nutrient needs of 9798% of healthy individuals (
Here are the RDAs for vitamin C :
In addition to the RDA recommendations for vitamin C, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a recommended Daily Value .
The DV was developed for food and supplement labels. It helps you determine the percentage of nutrients in a single serving of food, compared with the daily requirements. On food labels, this is displayed as %DV .
Currently, the recommended DV for vitamin C for adults and children aged 4 and above is 60 mg regardless of gender. However, in January 2020, this will increase to 90 mg .
The RDA for Vitamin C ranges from 1575 mg for children, 75 mg for adult women, 90 mg for adult men, and 85120 mg for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin C is essential for overall health and wellness, and the nutrient may particularly benefit certain conditions.
The vitamin is especially helpful for immune health, as it supports your immune systems cellular function .
Can Vitamin C Fight A Cold
A small amount ofresearch from the 1970s suggestedvitamin C was the answer to preventing and treating the common cold. For decades this has fueled the old wives tale that vitamin C boosts the immune system and can prevent illnesses such as cold and flu. Continuing research has indicated that this isnt quite the case. Whilesome datasuggests that extra vitamin C may help those who partake in extreme exercise or are active in cold environments, its not the magic pill people many folks make it out to be. If you are falling short of your daily needs for vitamin C you will potentially see better immune function when that deficiency is corrected. A study from 2017 determined that meeting needs for vitamin C would be enough to help prevent some infections from occurring while higher doses are needed to fight inflammation from existing infections.
The research is more compelling on how the antioxidant powder of vitamin C can fight inflammation and possibly shorten the duration of an illness when taken at the onset of symptoms. Newly publishedresearchcontinues to explore the antioxidant powder of vitamin c and both athletes and non-athletes. More importantly, this doesnt translate to more is better. Thereissuch thing as too much vitamin C.
Recommended Reading: Can Vitamin B3 Help With Erectile Dysfunction
Can I Take Vitamin C 500mg Twice A Day
The Daily Value for vitamin C was raised to 90 mg for men in 2000, and Upper Limit of 2,000 mg per day was established as being safe. This followed a study of urinary excretion of vitamin C that demonstrated 500 mg twice a day provides levels sufficient to cause continuous urinary excretion in humans.
How Is The % Dv For Vitamin C Calculated
The Daily Value used in nutrition labelling is based on 60 mg of vitamin C for a reference diet.
For example, if a food product has 20 mg of vitamin C, the product would have a % Daily Value for vitamin C of 33%. Ã 100 = 33%.
Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.
You May Like: How To Increase Women’s Libido With Vitamins
Best Natural Ingredients For Your Skin
Vitamin C serums can be topically applied to the skin and may provide benefits such as protection against damage caused by UV exposure, including collagen damage and wrinkling. And while its no replacement for sunscreen, a vitamin C serum routinely applied before sun exposure may help prevent premature aging of the skin. It may also help protect against pigmentation issues by interfering with melanin synthesis. Youll see many options of vitamin C serums including ones with additional ingredients, such as vitamin E or hyaluronic acid.
Always Talk With A Professional
While the nutritionists we spoke to agree that supplements can be helpful, its important to always talk with your healthcare provider before jumping in with a vitamin regimen. Most vitamin supplements contain 100 percent of the recommended daily amount, so if youre already consuming a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you would be taking in way more than the National Institutes of Health recommends.
Unfortunately when it comes to vitamins, you really can have too much of a good thing.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a meta-analysis of studies looking at more than 400,000 people found that a daily vitamin supplement was associated with an increased cancer risk. A separate study of women found that a daily supplement was linked to an increased risk for skin cancer.
Taking vitamin A supplements with beta-carotene has been proven to increase the risk of lung cancer in study participants. In one study, the increased risk was a whopping 28 percent, which caused the researchers to actually end the study early.
Calcium supplements have not been proven to improve bone density. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants taking a daily calcium supplement were more likely to suffer a hip fracture.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Vitamin D To Absorb Better
Common Nutrient Deficiencies: Know The Signs
Severe vitamin C deficiency may bring about scurvy, a condition that includes symptoms ranging from fatigue to depression, joint pain, poor wound healing, and bleeding gums. Though serious, scurvy and even vitamin C deficiency are rare in developed countries. Theres one exception: Smokers have a more-than-threefold-greater risk of vitamin C deficiency, according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This is likely because smoking causes greater vitamin C turnover in the body. Cigarette smoking increases free radicals in the body, which damages our cells antioxidants such as vitamin C counteract this damage but are depleted more quickly in people who smoke.
How Safe Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very safe. If you get it through food sources there is very little chance of overdosing.
Even if you take supplements of vitamin C, you shouldnt notice any side effects as long as you take the daily recommended dosage.
Even if you take more than the daily recommended dose, your body is usually able to flush out the extra amount so that you dont get a toxic buildup of vitamin C in your body.
Extremely high amounts of vitamin C are considered to be more than 2,000 mg daily for adults. You may notice certain side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and kidney stones.
Donât Miss: Where Can I Buy Vitamin B5
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C
“Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, most known for supporting your immune system,”* board-certified physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., previously told mindbodygreen. It’s also the primary water-soluble vitamin in your body and, as such, supports nearly every body system.*
And as mbg’s VP of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, explains, “Vitamin C is 100% essential for immune function, but don’t underestimate this micronutrient. For example, its positive cardiovascular impact is incredibly compelling.”* Ferira goes on to say that vitamin C’s heart support is “partially because of this micronutrient’s pivotal role in whole-body antioxidant balance but also due to its requirement for collagen synthesis. Yes, even your blood vessels and heart need the collagen protein for their structure and optimal function.”*
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here’s a quick breakdown of what vitamin C does for you:*
Heart Disease And Cancer
Research suggests that vitamin C may help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidants like vitamin C do seem to reduce the oxidative stress associated with these diseases. This can happen when there are too many free radicals in your body.
A 2013 review found that vitamin C may help prevent stroke. This was mostly true for people who had low intake of vitamin C before treatment or were at high risk for stroke.
The review only found this benefit for vitamin C from food sources, not from supplements.
A 2013 review noted that high intake of vitamin C does seem to be associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. It also noted that intravenous vitamin C has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients.
Many experimental cancer therapies include using vitamin C along with other treatments, however. This makes it hard to know how much of an impact vitamin C has on its own.
You May Like: What Vitamins Are Good To Take When Pregnant
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Does Fish Oil Have
Are Vitamin C Supplements Necessary
With the average intake well beyond the recommended daily level its clear that for most people, Vitamin C supplements are simply unnecessary. As a water-soluble Vitamin, you literally just pee out what your body doesnt need so supplements can make for an expensive trip to the loo.
Whats more, if youve grown up thinking you need to dose up on Vitamin C at the first sign of a sniffle, its time to think again. Science has proven that Vitamin C supplements are not a miracle cure for the common cold, and it doesnt reduce your risk of a cold occurring, either. Whats more, having too much Vitamin C from supplements can lead to unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea and nausea. So, stick to real food and youre doing just fine in the Vitamin C stakes.
Any products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who dont play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale. Learn more.
What’s The Best Form Of Vitamin C To Take
Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms, the most common being ascorbic acid , followed by mineral ascorbates like sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbate. And although less common, “you’ll also find unique vitamin C complexes with lipid or other bioactive components to elevate the absorption profile, as well as food-derived vitamin C sources in supplements ,” shares Ferira.
Depending on the dose, the bioavailability of vitamin C supplements can differ, which means some forms are able to enter your gut and circulation more easily, then get to work, traveling to cells around the body to scavenge free radicals *
“Free radicals can cause wear and tear to all parts of the body, including the brain and mind,” says dietitian Joanna Foley, R.D., CLT. But the right type of vitamin C can combat oxidative compounds head-on.*
While ascorbic acid and mineral ascorbates certainly have their merits and definite efficacy in lower doses , research shows that at more potent doses , a scientifically advanced vitamin C complex that includes lipid and citrus bioflavonoid componentsspecifically, a vitamin C compound called PureWay-Chas superior absorption and free-radical-scavenging abilities and can raise vitamin C blood levels and support anti-inflammatory actions more efficiently than other forms of vitamin C like ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, and calcium ascorbate-calcium threonate-dehydroascorbate .*
Read Also: How Much Is 1 000 Mg Of Vitamin C
/7health Benefits Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. This simply means that Vitamin C first dissolves in water and then it is transported to different parts of the body. However, our body does not store this vitamin, so it is crucial to take it daily from the food.
The C vitamin plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds. It is a powerful antioxidant that can fight disease-causing harmful free radicals. Besides, it is also involved in numerous metabolic reactions in the body and is needed to make fibrous protein in connective tissue that is weaved throughout various systems in the body.
How Much Is Too Much
Because high doses of some supplements can have risks, how do you know when it’s OK to take more than the RDA or DV?
One way is to look for the UL of a nutrient. With many vitamins and minerals, you can safely take a dose much higher than the RDA or DV without coming close to the UL.
For instance, the average person can take more than 50 times the RDA of vitamin B6 without reaching the upper limit. But some people develop symptoms of nerve pain with these higher levels of B6. So you should always be cautious. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Some supplements are riskier than others. With some vitamins and minerals, the upper limit is pretty close to the RDA. So it’s easy to get too much. For example, a man who takes just over three times the RDA of vitamin A would get more than the upper limit. High doses of vitamin A — and other fat-soluble vitamins like E and K — can build up in the body and become toxic. Other risky supplements include the minerals iron and selenium.
Supplementsare designed to be additions to your diet. Popping pills is not the answer to good health. Experts say you should eat a well-balanced diet and take supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. Some people take a multivitamin with minerals for nutritional insurance.
You May Like: What Is The Best Form Of Vitamin D Supplement
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin C
The tolerable upper intake for adults is 2 grams of Vitamin C consuming more than that can result in diarrhea and other unpleasant GI disturbances, says Greaves. She admits that severe side effects from too much ascorbic acid are very rare, but you may experience some discomfort if you take too much. Its pretty much impossible to have a vitamin C overdose, but lets not test that out.
The real problem with taking more vitamin C than you need is that it all goes to waste. Up to 100 mg a day of vitamin C will get almost completely absorbed, says Francesco-Maria Serino, MD, PhD. Above 100 mg a day and the fraction of vitamin C absorbed is progressively smaller. If you take more than 1 gram of vitamin C per day, less than 50% is actually absorbed and its eliminated by the kidneys.
That literally means that a 500 mg vitamin C supplement mostly gets peed down the drain.
Donât Miss: Which Vitamins Work Best Together