Which Vitamin C Supplement Should I Choose
A wide variety of vitamin C supplements are available, including vitamin C capsules, effervescent tablets and even vitamin C powder, which can be mixed into water or juice.
Powders and effervescent tablets are usually flavoured to make them more palatable and so these are ideal for those people who find it hard to swallow tablets or find that they leave an unpleasant, lasting taste.
All of these vitamin forms are effective – the best vitamin C is the one that you find easiest to take, ensuring you get your daily dose.
When Is The Best Time To Take Calcium
Many people consider calcium to be a vitamin, but its actually a mineral. So, youll want to be careful and not overdo it with calcium. Most people can get a sufficient amount of it from food. But if youre not eating enough calcium-rich foods or youre postmenopausal, Dr. Perez-Gallardo says youll need to take calcium the right way to decrease bone loss and osteoporosis.
Calcium supplements come in two forms: calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. The best time to take calcium depends on the kind you take, explains Dr. Perez-Gallardo.
- Calcium carbonate: To be properly absorbed, this type requires acid in the stomach. Take it with a meal because you produce stomach acids when you eat.
- Calcium citrate: You can take it with or without food because your body can absorb it with or without acids. Doctors often recommend calcium citrate for patients who take antacids.
Why Vitamin C Matters
You already know vitamin Ca.k.a. ascorbic acidis key for healthy immune function.
Plus, its also key for collagen production, which is essential for connective tissue health and wound healing.
C also offers cardiovascular benefits: Vitamin C also supports healthy blood pressure and artery health, and increases blood flow to the brain, adds Anthony Balduzzi, N.M.D., founder of The Fit Father Project and The Fit Mother Project.
You May Like: Does Lemon Juice Have Vitamin C
Why Do We Need Vitamin C At All
Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Often, we think of citrus fruit as the best vitamin C delivery system, but you can also get it from peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
Once its in your system, the C helps your immune system function at its best and protect against damage from free radicals. Plus, ascorbic acid is needed to make collagen, that wondrous protein that helps heal wounds and keep our skin looking young and lovely .
Our bodies cant make vitamin C on their own, so its important that we get enough ascorbic acid from food or other outside sources.
Vitamin C deficiency is fairly rare in Western countries, but it can happen. If you take a long break from fresh produce , its possible to get scurvy which causes inflamed gums, skin spots, depression, and eventually death.
Its not common or likely if you have access to healthy food and produce, but its good to be mindful of your vitamin C intake all the same.
Should You Take Dietary Supplements
A Look at Vitamins, Minerals, Botanicals and More
When you reach for that bottle of vitamin C or fish oil pills, you might wonder how well theyll work and if theyre safe. The first thing to ask yourself is whether you need them in the first place.
More than half of all Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily or on occasion. Supplements are available without a prescription and usually come in pill, powder or liquid form. Common supplements include vitamins, minerals and herbal products, also known as botanicals.
People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. But not everyone needs to take supplements.
Its possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, so you dont have to take one, says Carol Haggans, a registered dietitian and consultant to NIH. But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet.
Some supplements may have side effects, especially if taken before surgery or with other medicines. Supplements can also cause problems if you have certain health conditions. And the effects of many supplements havent been tested in children, pregnant women and other groups. So talk with your health care provider if youre thinking about taking dietary supplements.
Theres little evidence that any supplement can reverse the course of any chronic disease, says Hopp. Dont take supplements with that expectation.
Don’t Miss: What Is Vitamin C Serum Good For Skin
May Reduce Your Risk Of Chronic Disease
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your bodys natural defenses .
Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals.
When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases .
Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the bodys natural defenses fight inflammation .
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can boost your blood antioxidant levels. This may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
Studies have shown that vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.
An animal study found that taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart, which helped reduce blood pressure levels .
Moreover, an analysis of 29 human studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 mmHg, on average, in healthy adults.
In adults with high blood pressure, vitamin C supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average .
Vitamin C supplements have been found to lower blood pressure in both healthy adults and those with high blood pressure.
Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency
Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. Its essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb .
This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron.
In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67% .
As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia .
If you have low iron levels, consuming more vitamin-C-rich foods or taking a vitamin C supplement may help improve your blood iron levels.
Vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron that is poorly absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also reduce the risk of iron deficiency.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Should I Take After Pregnancy
How Can Vitamin D Help Boost Your Immune System
Backing up a second here: Vitamin D, aka calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin thats naturally present in a few foods, like fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks, per the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements . Its produced in your body when UV rays from the sun hit your skin and trigger whats known as vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D can do a slew of different things in your body, including strengthen your bones, reduce inflammation, and help with immune function, the NIH says.
Heres the big reason why vitamin D can be helpful as a supplement, per Dr. Adalja: Some people are deficient in it, meaning they dont get enough of it on a regular basis.
As for the link with immune function, one systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 11,321 people published in the BMJ found that people took weekly or daily supplements of vitamin D were less likely to develop respiratory tract infections than those who didnt. People who were the most deficient in vitamin D had the biggest benefit.
Another systematic review and meta-analysis of 5,660 people published in PLOS One found that vitamin D supplementation had a protective effect against respiratory tract infections, with a daily dose being the most effective.
Research Design And Study Population
The study design for this research is a randomized controlled trial . Based on the suggested formulas of this model, the study participants were recruited on the foundation of developed inclusion/exclusion criteria . The subjects underwent a 12 weeks treatment program . Participants were randomly assigned into six Groups : Vitamin C group: who took only 500 mg/day vitamin C supplements Vitamin C plus PA group either morning 7:30 A.M. or afternoon after 3:00 P.M.: who participated in 30 min/day of endurance PA and also took 500 mg/day vitamin C supplements. Vitamin D group: who took only 2000 IU/day vitamin D supplements Vitamin D plus PA group either morning 7:30 P.M. or afternoon after 3:00 P.M.: those who participated in 30 min/day of endurance PA and also took 2000 IU/day vitamin D supplements. Placebo group, who participated in 30 min/day of endurance PA and took a placebo, final group did not participate in 30 min/day of endurance PA, but took a placebo. Both vitamins and placebo were obtained from Osweh manufacture Iran-Tehran and was prepared to feature the same shape, odor and size of the supplements.
Recommended Reading: Do Prenatal Vitamins Help Conceive
How Vitamin C Supports A Healthy Immune System
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Because your body cannot make vitamin C, it must come from the foods you eat every day.
Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin and cartilage a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.
Though it may not keep you from catching a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as one to one-and-a-half days for some people. However, other studies did not result in the same findings, and the risk of side effects is greater with high doses of vitamin C supplements, so check with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before taking.
Who May Be At Risk For A Nutrient Deficiency
For those who eat a healthful diet, a multivitamin may have little or no benefit. A diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good protein sources, and healthful fats should provide most of the nutrients needed for good health. But not everyone manages to eat a healthful diet. When it comes to specific vitamins and minerals, some Americans get less than adequate amounts, according to criteria set by the National Academy of Medicine. For example, more than 90% of Americans get less than the Estimated Average Requirement for vitamin D and vitamin E from food sources alone.
Certain groups are at higher risk for a nutrient deficiency:
A note on vitamin D
Also Check: What Vitamin Is For The Skin
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Vitamin C
The effects of vitamin C as an immune-booster are well-known, but the fact is that this critical vitamin is an antioxidant your body needs ALL the time, regardless of whether or not youre actively fighting something.
Other powerful benefits of vitamin C include:
- Building and maintaining healthy collagen
- Absorbing iron
- Supporting faster wound healing
- Maintaining the health of your joints, bones, and teeth
- Reducing the risk of developing chronic disease
- Minimizing the effects of aging so you continue to feel your best
Inflammation is the biggest driver of pain, chronic disease, and hormone strugglesespecially as we get older. Using key supplements like vitamin C to lower this inflammatory burden is the best and easiest way to experience major health breakthroughs while protecting your longevity!
Which Collagen To Buy
Ive started buying Perfect Supplements Hydrolyzed Collagen because theyre the most transparent about their processes, including their cows grazing on sustainably-grown grass. Im super excited that theyre offering 10% off their already affordable price for Eat Beautiful readers. Just type in the coupon code BEAUTIFUL10when you check out.
When contacting Perfect Supplements about their gelatin and collagen, heres what they told me:
Our Collagen and Gelatin are 100% natural and free of pesticides, hormones, chemicals, GMOs and other contaminants. They are sourced from Brazilian Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised Cows that spend their entire life free grazing on grass. There is regular testing to verify the area is natural and free of pesticides as well as regular testing on the products. The establishment that takes the cows for finishing ensures that they feed the cows grass while they are there, but they cannot guarantee the cows have not gotten into other animals food sources such as grains.
If youve ever investigated other gelatin companies you may know that this is an excellent assurance, much better than the leading competitors claims. Im pleased to support this company and grateful for the companys transparency and commitment to sustainability.
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin C Reduce Wrinkles
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.
Oxygen Is The Breath Of Life But It Also Holds The Potential To Make Us Old Decrepit And Then Dead
In order to regain stability, free radicals wreak havoc on the structures around them, ripping electrons from vital molecules such as DNA and proteins in order to balance its own charge. Although inconceivably small in scale, the production of free radicals, Harman and many others posited, would gradually take its toll on our entire bodies, causing mutations that can lead to ageing and age-related diseases such as cancer.
In short, oxygen is the breath of life, but it also holds the potential to make us old, decrepit, and then dead.
Clinical trials are the only ways to reveal the effects of a drug – and investigations into antioxidants have produced some shocking results
Shortly after free radicals were linked to ageing and disease, they were seen as enemies that should be purged from our bodies. In 1972, for example, Harman wrote, Decreasing in an organism might be expected to result in a decreased rate of biological degradation with an accompanying increase in the years of useful, healthy life. It is hoped that will lead to fruitful experiments directed toward increasing the healthy human lifespan.
He was talking about antioxidants, molecules that accept electrons from free radicals thereby diffusing the threat. And the experiments he hoped for were sown, nurtured, and replicated over the next few decades. But they bore little fruit.
Don’t Miss: What Food Has Calcium And Vitamin D
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use ascorbic acid if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vitamin C supplement.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using ascorbic acid if you have:
kidney disease or a history of kidney stones
hereditary iron overload disorder or
if you smoke .
Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not use ascorbic acid without your doctor’s advice in either case.
The Idea That Antioxidant Supplements Are A Miracle Cure Is Completely Redundant Antonio Enriquez
The idea that antioxidant is a miracle cure is completely redundant, says Enriquez. Linus Pauling was largely unaware of the fact that his own ideas could be fatal. In 1994, before the publication of many of the large-scale clinical trials, he died of prostate cancer. Vitamin C certainly wasnt the cure-all that he cantankerously claimed it was up until his last breath. But did it contribute to a heightened risk?
Dosing up on vitamin C does not even help us fight the common cold
Well never know for sure. But given that multiple studies have linked excess antioxidants to cancer, it certainly isnt out of the question. A study published in 2007 from the US National Cancer Institute, for instance, found that men that took multivitamins were twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to those who didnt. And in 2011, a similar study on 35,533 healthy men found that vitamin E and selenium supplementation increased prostate cancer by 17%.
Ever since Harman proposed his great theory of free radicals and ageing, the neat separation of antioxidants and free radicals has been deteriorating. It has aged.
Antioxidant is only a name, not a fixed definition of nature. Take vitamin C, Paulings preferred supplement. At the correct dose, vitamin C neutralises highly charged free radicals by accepting their free electron. Its a molecular martyr, taking the hit upon itself to protect the cellular neighbourhood.
Divide and conquer
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Vitamin Iv Bags