How Vitamin C Can Help Your Gut
A 2019 study published in Redox Biology found that vitamin C can be used to improve your gut barrier function, which helps your body absorb nutrients and protect you from certain toxins.
Along with improving your gut barrier, vitamin C has been known to help balance out the good and bad bacteria inside your gut. According to Gut Microbes, vitamin C had the most significant impact on gut health compared to vitamins B and D and was proven to help increase microbial diversity, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy gut.
Although vitamin C has positive effects on your gut health, you may experience some uncomfortable digestive issues if you take too much.
How Much Vitamin C Is Enough
Most of the studies Moyad and his colleagues examined used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. That’s much higher than the RDA of 75-90 milligrams a day for adults. So unless you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits, Moyad says. He suggests taking 500 milligrams a day, in addition to eating five servings of fruits and vegetables.
“It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do,” Moyad says. He also notes that only 10% to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Moyad says there is no real downside to taking a 500-milligram supplement, except that some types may irritate the stomach. That’s why he recommends taking a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. “The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe,” he says.
Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet before taking supplements.
What To Look For
Not all vitamin C supplements are created equal. To better ensure quality and safety, choose supplements that have been tested and certified by an independent certifying body, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab, or NSF International.
Also, be aware that there are different types of vitamin C, including L-ascorbic acid and others that combine ascorbic acid with minerals , citrus bioflavonoids, or rose hips. None is considered better or more effective than the other for dietary use.
If anything, you can save money by choosing a “plain” L-ascorbic acid supplement and avoiding all of the other non-essential add-ins. The best way to get vitamin D is from foods that contain it.
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Oral Ascorbic Acid Versus Zinc Gluconate Versus Both Agents Versus Standard Of Care
In an open-label clinical trial that was conducted at two sites in the United States, outpatients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were randomized to receive either 10 days of oral ascorbic acid 8,000 mg, zinc gluconate 50 mg, both agents, or standard of care.3 The primary end point was the number of days required to reach a 50% reduction in the patients symptom severity score. The study was stopped early by an operational and safety monitoring board due to futility after 40% of the planned 520 participants were enrolled .
Patients who received standard of care achieved a 50% reduction in their symptom severity scores at a mean of 6.7 days compared with 5.5 days for the ascorbic acid arm, 5.9 days for the zinc gluconate arm, and 5.5 days for the arm that received both agents . Nonserious adverse effects occurred more frequently in patients who received supplements than in those who did not 39.5% of patients in the ascorbic acid arm, 18.5% in the zinc gluconate arm, and 32.1% in the arm that received both agents experienced nonserious adverse effects compared with 0% of patients in the standard of care arm . The most common nonserious adverse effects in this study were gastrointestinal events.
When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins
The best time to take many vitamins and minerals may be in the morning, with a meal. However, there are a few supplements that may help you sleep better when taken shortly before bedtime.
Therefore, the best time for you to take your vitamins will depend on exactly which vitamins you’re taking, and on the health effects you hope to gain from taking them.
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Can A Vitamin C Supplement Really Keep You From Getting Sick
Despite it’s popularity as a remedy for the common cold, there’s actually no evidence to suggest that a large dose of vitamin C can actually prevent one or any other type of illness, for that matter.
And while you may have heard that a large dose of vitamin C can slightly reduce the duration of a cold, this only applies if you take that large dose every singleday of the year even when you’re not sick. This means that if you rip that vitamin C packet open after your symptoms begin, there’s no evidence to suggest it’ll actually shorten the length of your cold.
As it turns out, boosting your immune system is more complicated than just downing a packet or a pill. And while vitamin C does play an important role in supporting your immune system, it doesn’t take megadoses like the ones found in supplements which often contain 1667% more vitamin C than you actually need every day.
Can Ascorbic Acid Cause Problems
Although ascorbic acid is unlikely to cause any side-effects at the recommended doses, large doses taken over a long period of time can be associated with unwanted effects . If you experience any symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
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Important Information About All Medicines
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, contact a doctor or the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.
This medicine is for you. Do not give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Fruits And Vegetables With High Levels Of Vitamin C
There are many fruits and vegetables that have high levels of Vitamin C. If youre worried about taking supplements and the side effects, eating fruit ensures you get your daily dose of Vitamin C without the problems.
Guava has 377 milligrams of Vitamin C. Kiwis have 167 mg.
Bell peppers have 190 milligrams per cup and only 46 calories. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries all contain Vitamin C. Strawberries contain the highest amount at 98 mg per cup.
Surprisingly, oranges, often synonymous with high amounts of Vitamin C have only 96 mg per cup. Clementines, lemons, and grapefruits are also good sources of Vitamin C but contain fewer milligrams than oranges.
Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts are also good sources of Vitamin C. Kale is also a good source with 53 mg per cooked cup.
With so many choices, its easy to start your day with a healthy breakfast that contains enough Vitamin C to keep you healthy.
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What Fruits Are High In Vitamin C
Strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, mango, citrus fruits, pineapple, papaya, and watermelon are all high in vitamin C.
You can add anything you like to this vitamin C smoothie. If you want to add some collagen, or chia seeds, or hemp hearts, or any other supplements, you can do that! Just add them right before blending.
You Can Use Vitamin C With Retinol But Be Cautious
In the past it was thought that you should avoid using vitamin C products with retinoids at all costs. And that is still sort of true. They work best in different skin environments, so using them at the same time may make both less effective. And because they can have similar effects on the skin, experts do still advise against using these two ingredients together, Dr. Hogan says.
Using them in the same part of your routine can cause irritation, Dr. Lamb says, but its okay to use them on the same day at different times. Experts generally advise using vitamin C products in the morning and retinoids at night.
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What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Vitamin C Plus Zinc
Multivitamins and minerals can cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken in large doses. Do not take more of this medicine than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use multivitamins and minerals if you have other medical conditions or allergies.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Some vitamins and minerals can be harmful if taken in large doses. You may need to use a specially formulated prenatal vitamin.
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.
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Can Zinc And Vitamin C Be Taken Together
There are so many people out there who are taking multiple vitamins and minerals together without knowing their pros and cons. They consider supplementation as a task and so, in order to get rid of it, they take everything together. This is not a good thing. Public Health Expert and Dietitian Swati Bathwal explain that the composition and solubility of a nutrient should be taken into consideration when making combinations. Unless a nutrient isnt optimally absorbed, it wont provide any benefit to your body. Besides, the time of the day these are taken also affects absorption in some cases.
Absorption is the key factor for any supplement. Mixing two supplements may reduce the absorption that only goes waste. In addition to this, such combinations can cause adverse interactions that can harm your health.
Can Vitamin C Prevent Or Treat Cold Symptoms
Vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds, or as a way to help prevent colds. But findings have been inconsistent. Overall, experts have found little to no benefit from vitamin C for preventing or treating the common cold.
In a July 2007 study, researchers wanted to discover whether taking 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C daily could reduce the frequency, duration, or severity of a cold. After reviewing 60 years of clinical research, they found that when taken after a cold starts, vitamin C supplements do not make a cold shorter or less severe. When taken daily, vitamin C very slightly shortened cold duration — by 8% in adults and by 14% in children.
In 2010, researchers looked at all studies and found that taking vitamin C every day did not prevent the number of colds that a person got. In some cases, it made symptoms improve.
The results were different for people who were in very good physical condition, such as marathon runners. People like that who took vitamin C every day cut their risk of catching a cold in half.
So what does all this mean?
According to this research, the average adult who suffers with a cold for 12 days a year would still suffer for about 11 days a year if that person took a high dose of vitamin C every day during that year.
For the average child who suffers about 28 days of cold illness a year, taking daily high-dose vitamin C would still likely mean about 24 days of cold illness.
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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.
Vitamin C May Not Reduce Cold Symptoms But It Helps Your Immune System
Vitamin C doesnt appear to prevent colds or do much when it comes to reducing cold symptoms. However, it still plays an important role in your health. It helps with cell protection, absorption of iron, immune system functioning, and producing collagen, which helps heal wounds.
Most people should get vitamin C from their diets, not over-the-counter supplements or products like Emergen-C and Airborne. But some groups may be at an increased risk of not getting enough, including smokers, people with limited food variety, and people with certain chronic diseases or absorption issues.
The National Institutes of Health recommends daily intake of 90 mg of vitamin C for adult males and 75 mg for adult females. Smokers require an additional 35 mg daily. Thats easily achievable through fruits and vegetables. For example, a medium orange has 70 mg of vitamin C, and a medium grapefruit has 78 mg.
Be careful not to take more than the recommended amount, though. Taking too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
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Intravenous Vitamin C Plus Thiamine With Or Without Hydrocortisone In Critically Ill Patients Without Covid
Two small studies that used historic controls reported favorable clinical outcomes in patients with sepsis or severe pneumonia who received a combination of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone.8,9 Subsequently, several randomized trials in which patients received vitamin C and thiamine to treat sepsis and septic shock showed that this combination conferred benefits for certain clinical parameters. However, no survival benefit was reported. Two trials observed reductions in organ dysfunction 10,11 or the duration of shock12 without an effect on clinical outcomes. Three other trials, including a large trial of 501 sepsis patients, found no differences in any physiologic or outcome measures between the treatment and placebo groups.13-15
See ClinicalTrials.gov for a list of clinical trials that are evaluating the use of vitamin C in patients with COVID-19.
Intravenous Vitamin C Alone In Patients Without Covid
A small, three-arm pilot study compared two regimens of IV vitamin C to placebo in 24 critically ill patients with sepsis. Over the 4-day study period, patients who received vitamin C 200 mg/kg per day and those who received vitamin C 50 mg/kg per day had lower SOFA scores and lower levels of proinflammatory markers than patients who received placebo.5
In a randomized controlled trial in critically ill patients with sepsis-induced ARDS , patients who received IV vitamin C 200 mg/kg per day for 4 days had SOFA scores and levels of inflammatory markers that were similar to those observed in patients who received placebo. However, 28-day mortality was lower in the treatment group , coinciding with more days alive and free of the hospital and the intensive care unit.6 A post hoc analysis of the study data reported a difference in median SOFA scores between the treatment group and placebo group at 96 hours however, this difference was not present at baseline or 48 hours.7
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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.