How Is Vitamin C Absorbed
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, stored in the body in very small amounts. It has a low absorption rate in the body as it is mostly destroyed in the digestive system. Any Vitamin C that does manage to get into the bloodstream then has a poor absorption rate into the bodys cells as this water-soluble vitamin struggles to penetrate the fat-based cell membrane.
Fruits That Are High In Vitamin C
Citrus fruits and fruit juices are famous for being high in vitamin C, but they arent alone or even the best source. The following fruits are considered excellent sources of vitamin C, according to USDA data.
- Guava Just one of these tropical pink-fleshed fruits delivers 125 mg of vitamin C.
- Blackberries 1 cup of blackberries has 30 mg of vitamin C.
- Lemons and limes A lemon contains 34.4 mg of C, while a smaller lime has 19.5 mg of vitamin C. Its unlikely youll eat either of these fruits whole, but the juice delivers most of that amount.
Dietary Sources Of Vitamin C
Adults need about 45mg of vitamin C per day and any excess amount is excreted.
Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so some of its nutritional benefits can be lost during cooking. Raw foods are more beneficial as dietary sources of vitamin C. These include:
- fruit oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, blackcurrants, mangoes, kiwifruits, rock melon, tomatoes and strawberries
- vegetables particularly green vegetables , cauliflower and potatoes.
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Vitamin C And The Hmp Shunt
Glucose and ascorbic acid also work on the hexose monophosphate shunt. The HMP is a biochemical pathway that produces NADPH. White blood cells need NADPH to create superoxide and other reactive oxygen species that oxidize and destroy pathogens .
Vitamin C not only helps produce NADPH but also regulates quantities so the white blood cell does not create too much oxidative stress in its attempt to protect the body.
Vitamin C activates this important shunt while glucose inhibits it. This HMP shunt also produces ribose and deoxyribose which provide important raw materials for the formation of new white blood cell RNA/DNA .
When the immune system is under attack it needs to quickly produce new immune cells. If blood sugar is high enough to turn off the HMP shunt it will reduce the quantity of RNA/DNA and the amount of new immune cells formed.
Ensuring A Healthy Vitamin C Intake
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Risks And Side Effects
Vitamin C is not stored in the body, and excess amounts are excreted. As such, overdosing on this water-soluble vitamin is not generally a concern.
However, it is still important not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid adverse symptoms and vitamin C side effects, such as stomach upset and diarrhea.
A recent study also found a link between taking vitamin C supplements and kidney stones in men, reporting that supplementation resulted in a significantly higher risk of kidney stones. If you have a history of kidney stones, you should consider consulting with your doctor before starting supplementation, or simply try increasing your intake of vitamin C foods and drinks to meet your daily needs instead.
Vitamin C supplements may also interact with certain types of medications. In particular, they may interact with estrogen, protease inhibitors, certain anticoagulants, niacin and aluminum-containing medications, like phosphate binders.
If you currently take any of these medications, talk to your doctor before starting supplementation.
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Is Oxidative Damage To Biological Macromolecules Relevant To Human Chronic Diseases
Oxidative damage to biomolecules, such as lipids, DNA, and proteins, has been implicated in many chronic diseases, in particular, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cataract, respectively .
LDL oxidation and cardiovascular disease
It is still uncertain which factors are responsible for the oxidation of LDL in vivo. LDL can be oxidized into a potentially atherogenic form in vitro through metal-ion-dependent oxidation of its lipid component with subsequent modification of apolipoprotein B-100 by reactive aldehyde products of lipid peroxidation, particularly malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal . Whether catalytic metal ions are available in the early lesion in vivo remains a matter of debate . Several metal-ion-independent mechanisms that are primarily enzymatic in nature have been proposed these include mechanisms involving 15-lipoxygenase and myeloperoxidase . The problems of comparing LDL oxidation in vitro with LDL oxidation in vivo were discussed in 2 recent reviews .
DNA oxidation and mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
Protein oxidation and cataract
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What Is The Evidence That Vitamin C Acts As An Antioxidant In Humans
The most conclusive evidence that vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in humans has come from supplementation studies using specific biomarkers of oxidative damage to lipids, DNA, and proteins. Because these specific oxidative biomarkers have only recently been developed and continue to be evaluated, only relatively few studies have investigated the effects on these biomarkers of supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients, including vitamin C.
Numerous studies in humans have investigated the effects on the oxidizability of LDL of vitamin C supplementation in combination with vitamin E or -carotene or both . Studies have been carried out in smokers , nonsmokers , and persons with hypercholesterolemia or cardiovascular disease . In all cases, a significant reduction in LDL oxidizability was observed. It is, however, difficult to determine the relative contribution of vitamin C in these studies because of the presence of the cosupplements, of which vitamin E appears to be the major contributor to protection of LDL. This is because vita-min E is the most abundant lipid-soluble antioxidant associated with LDL .
Dietary Sources Of Vitamin K
We get vitamin K from food and the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. Newborn babies are given a booster to increase their vitamin K levels because they are born without bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. We get much of our vitamin K from our diet.
Food sources include:
- leafy green vegetables spinach and kale
- fruits such as avocado and kiwi fruit
- some vegetable oils such as soybean oil.
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Effects On Other Antioxidants And Ros
As a major antioxidant in plants, changes in Asc content may well affect other antioxidant pools. Moreover, different approaches used for increasing Asc might be expected to affect specific antioxidants disproportionately. For example, increasing Asc by increasing biosynthetic activity would impact different antioxidant pools than would increasing Asc through improved Asc recycling which requires GSH and NADPH for the reduction of DHA or MDHA by DHAR or MDAR, respectively. Although most reports have observed increases in Asc content and/or in the Asc redox state following an increase in DHAR expression, the impact of this increase of DHAR activity on other antioxidants is less clear. Increases in GSH were observed in tobacco and maize expressing wheat DHAR with no change in glutathione reductase , superoxide dismutase , APX, or CAT activities , suggesting coordinate regulation between DHAR and GSH. A similar increase in GSH content was reported for Arabidopsis overexpressing DHAR . In contrast, expression of human DHAR in tobacco chloroplasts resulted in a reduction in GSH that was accompanied by a 1.43-fold increase in GR activity . Whether this was a consequence of expression of DHAR in chloroplasts remains to be determined.
Vitamin C And Mental Health
Vitamin C deficiency may affect a persons mental health as well as their physical health.
Scurvy can also cause fatigue, which can negatively impact a persons quality of life. However, researchers found that people may experience mental health complications in a smaller vitamins c deficit than that necessary for scurvy diagnosis.
Different people require different intakes of vitamin C.
According to the ODS, the of vitamin C for adults is:
- 90 milligrams for males
- 75 mg for females
- 120 mg when breastfeeding
- an additional 35 mg for people who smoke
Children typically require less than this. People who smoke or have conditions that affect vitamin absorption in the intestines are at risk of having a lower intake and may require a higher amount.
The following sections discuss some of the most important benefits of vitamin C.
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Best Food Sources Of Vitamin C:
The current adult RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg, however, as a practicing clinician, I recommend my clients get at least 200 mg from food and ideally supplement with another 500mg -1 gram daily. In cases of chronic health conditions, I will recommend much higher dosages.
Here are the best food sources to consume to boost your vitamin C levels. Eating some of these on a daily basis is recommended. If you are doing a fast and not consuming food, I wouldnt worry about it as your body will not have as great a need for vitamin C during the fast. But when you return to consuming food, be sure to include these vitamin C rich foods.
Strategies To Increase Vitamin C In Plants: From Plant Defense Perspective To Food Biofortification
- Laboratory of Plant Biochemistry and Food Sciences Università Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy
Vitamin C participates in several physiological processes, among others, immune stimulation, synthesis of collagen, hormones, neurotransmitters, and iron absorption. Severe deficiency leads to scurvy, whereas a limited vitamin C intake causes general symptoms, such as increased susceptibility to infections, fatigue, insomnia, and weight loss. Surprisingly vitamin C deficiencies are spread in both developing and developed countries, with the latter actually trying to overcome this lack through dietary supplements and food fortification. Therefore new strategies aimed to increase vitamin C in food plants would be of interest to improve human health. Interestingly, plants are not only living bioreactors for vitamin C production in optimal growing conditions, but also they can increase their vitamin C content as consequence of stress conditions. An overview of the different approaches aimed at increasing vitamin C level in plant food is given. They include genotype selection by classical breeding, bio-engineering and changes of the agronomic conditions, on the basis of the emerging concepts that plant can enhance vitamin C synthesis as part of defense responses.
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Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies And Supplements
The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be locked away in the liver and body fat, and stored for a long time. The water-soluble vitamins, including B-complex and vitamin C, are mostly only stored for a shorter period.A vitamin deficiency takes weeks or months before it will affect your health. For instance, it would take months of no vitamin C before you developed scurvy.
Vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended in certain circumstances to correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as folate for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Others who may be at risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency include:
- pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding
Other Vitamin C Rich Foods
You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the link at the bottom of each food listing.
Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.
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Use Vitamin C Supplements:
Vitamin C is an important component in controlling inflammatory responses to damaged tissues. Vitamin C also acts as an anti-histamine and helps to control hyperinflammatory responses to infections and allergies .
I recommend our Super C, which has a 1:1 ratio of vitamin C to citrus bioflavonoids which are also called Vitamin P. This combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin P synergizes to uniquely improve immunity, supports adrenal health and this synergy helps to improve capillary permeability to deliver more oxygen to cells. I personally use 1 gram in the morning upon rising and 1 gram at night before bed to support my adrenal health, circulation and immune system function.
Make Your Own Veggie Tray
Some of the veggies that contain a lot of natural Vitamin C include red and green peppers and broccoli. The next time you bring home groceries from the store, wash those vegetables in cool water and cut into thin strips or small pieces. Divide the veggies into small bags that you keep on the top shelf of your refrigerator or in another convenient spot. When youre in the mood for a snack, you can grab one of those bags and enjoy all the benefits of Vitamin C. You can dip those veggies into peanut butter, hummus or your favorite dip.
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Foods That Are High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin thats found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
It functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body and plays important roles in immune function, neurotransmitter production, collagen synthesis, and more. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet may help reduce the risk of common health conditions like heart disease .
Additionally, Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis, connective tissue, bones, teeth, and your small blood vessels .
The current daily value for vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75mg for women.
Deficiency symptoms include higher susceptibility to infections, bleeding gums, frequent bruising and infections, poor wound healing, anemia, and scurvy (
For the purposes of this article, we have used the DV of 90mg for calculating the %DV for the list of foods below.
Here are 20 foods that are high in vitamin C.
How Long Can You Survive Without Vitamin C
Whilst vitamin C deficiency is rare in the developed world, many people arent getting enough in their diets. Continually going without vitamin C for up to three months could lead to developing scurvy but some symptoms may start to develop four weeks after continual vitamin C deficiency.
Symptoms of scurvy can include:
- Red or blue spots on the skin
- Bruising easily
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Going For Supplements: How Much Vitamin C Should You Take
One research review showed that unlike many nutritional supplements, vitamin C is extremely safe, even when taken at high doses. But its recommended that peeps with frequent kidney stones and iron overload disorders avoid supplementing with vitamin C.
Most vitamin C supplements provide 500 or 1,000 milligrams per serving and contain vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, which is a highly bioavailable form of vitamin C.
According to the National Institutes of Health, synthetic vitamin C has the same bioavailability as vitamin C found naturally in foods.
For those with vitamin C deficiency, supplemental doses between 500 to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day are often used to increase levels. People with severe deficiency may need high-dose IV vitamin C, but this is determined by a medical professional.
Glutathione Recycles Vitamin C
Humans lack the L-gulonolactone oxidase enzyme that is critical for the last step of vitamin C synthesis. Humans require a good amount of vitamin C in order to build healthy tissue collagen and promote strong immune function .
When vitamin C levels are low the body recycles the oxidized version of vitamin C. This redox cycling is performed by the master anti-oxidant glutathione. As long as enough glutathione is present the vitamin C redox cycle can continue .
The Nobel prize winning chemist Linus Pauling discovered that white blood cells need very high doses of vitamin C in order to function effectively. In the late 1960s, he developed the understanding of using high dose vitamin C to combat the common cold. This technique has worked effectively for many individuals however, there is more to the story when it comes to vitamin C .