Using Vitamin C To Stay Healthy
To prevent diseases like scurvy, very low levels of vitamin C are required. One orange a day would prevent the onset of the disease. However, the goal with most individuals is to not solely prevent disease but ensure a healthy body as well! For most individuals, consumption of 100-200mg/day is adequate to prevent sickness and ensure a strong immune system.Highly active individuals who have a chronic disease, are elderly, smoke, or are pregnant/lactating often have increased requirements. For example, smokers are encouraged to consume an additional 35mg/day to fight oxidative damage caused by cigarettes and tobacco. Its recommended athletes consume close to 200mg/day to promote recovery and training adaptations.
How Much Do I Need
Vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, so we do need a consistent supply to maintain adequate levels, says registered dietitian Jillian Greaves. The recommended daily intake is about 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. For women, you could get more than your daily requirement by eating one kiwi and men could have half a papaya and call it a day.
What Is The Recommended Dose Of Vitamin C
The Australian Government publishes a Recommended Dietary Intake for each vitamin, allowing you to check that you are getting the right amount.
Adults need around 45mg of vitamin C daily this equates to around half an orange or a cup of strawberries.
Breastfeeding women need more around 85mg daily while children need a little less, at around 35mg to 40mg daily.
There is some evidence to suggest that people who smoke cigarettes may need larger amounts of vitamin C than non-smokers to prevent deficiency one of many reasons to consider quitting smoking.
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How Does It Work
To understand how vitamin C works, we first need to know how free radicals damage the skin. There are three types of free radicals, but Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of her eponymous skincare brand is mainly concerned with the reactive oxygen species . “We are exposed to ROS from the air we breathe , cigarette smoke, UV sunlight, stress, and smog,” she says. The effects of ROS are no joke: They damage the dermis of the skin and alter DNA, the moisture barrier, skin texture, color, and cell functioning.
To demonstrate the effects of ROS and oxidative stress to the naked eyeand to prove how vitamin C works to combat themRouleau devised a simple experiment involving an apple. She coated one end of a slice with a thin layer of vitamin C serum and left the other side completely untouched. Then, she waited for three hours. Here’s what happened:
As you can see, the side of the apple that was coated with the vitamin C serum didn’t oxidize at all. “This shows how topical vitamin C can prevent oxidation, and therefore, slow down the visible appearance of aging,” Rouleau says.
Citrus & Kale Potent C+e Serum
Our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum is a lightweight formula that can easily be added to any skin care routine. This serum is formulated with Vitamin E and ferulic acid which, as mentioned, enhance its antioxidant properties and helps it retain its potency. This formula also includes three varieties of Vitamin C. First, there’s L-ascorbic acid, a powerful form of the antioxidant. Second, you can find Vitamin C from natural sources citrus fruits like lemon and orange and leafy greens like kale and broccoli. And third, the serum contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is illustrated below.
Pro Tip:Enhance your routine with the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil and Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque. The hydrating qualities of these complementary products add essential moisture and encourage the skin to absorb more Vitamin C over time, thereby enhancing the efficacy of the serum.
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Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation
Combined evidence from metabolic, pharmacokinetic, and observational studies, and from randomized controlled trials supports consuming sufficient vitamin C to achieve plasma concentrations of at least 60 mol/L. While most generally healthy young adults can achieve these plasma concentrations with daily vitamin C intake of at least 200 mg/day, some individuals may have a lower vitamin C absorptive capacity than what is currently documented. Thus, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of 400 mg daily for adults to ensure replete tissue concentrations an amount substantially higher than the RDA yet with minimal risk of side effects.
This recommendation can be met through food if the diet includes at least several servings of vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables as part of the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake . Most multivitamin supplements provide at least 60 mg of vitamin C.
Copyright 2000-2022 Linus Pauling Institute
What Are Vitamin C Supplements For
Vitamin C supplements are valuable when your diet is lacking the right amount of vitamin C, or when your body is undergoing extra stress and needs additional vitamin C to support your brain health, immune health, etc.
When taking regularly, vitamin C supplements ensure that the bodys immune system can function healthily, may lower susceptibility to infections, and may reduce severity of symptoms when youre sick. A regular vitamin C supplementation routine may also contribute to lowering your blood pressure and reducing risks of developing cardiovascular disease.
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What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise
You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take vitamin C supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.
Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
Acts As An Antioxidant Fights Oxidative Damage
Vitamin C consumption appears to be beneficial for the antioxidant properties it displays.
Antioxidants help to reduce the damage from inflammation and compounds like free radicals which can contribute to oxidative stress.
According to one study, vitamin C supplementation decreased the inflammation levels in athletes taking part in regular, intense exercise .
Furthermore, regular vitamin C intake significantly increases the concentration of plasma vitamin C .
One recent study also demonstrates that higher plasma vitamin C levels are inversely associated with all-cause mortality and the risk of stroke .
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Scientific Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
A diet loaded with vitamin Crich foods such as oranges, kiwi, and peppers helps more than just the immune system.
Vitamin C is one of the most talked about vitamins. The nutrient gets special buzz for its immune-boosting potential. But touting vitamin C‘s ability to shorten the common cold only scratches the surface of its role in the body.
This antioxidant isnt naturally made by the body, so its crucial to obtain it from vitamin Crich foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods, including red and green bell peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts, says Tamar Samuels, RDN, a cofounder of Culina Health in New York City.
Read on to learn about seven major health benefits of vitamin C.
Who Should Take A Vitamin C Supplement
Everyone may benefit from taking vitamin C supplements, especially those who are at a higher risk of having low levels of vitamin C. High-risk groups include:
People who drink high amounts of alcohol
Those who smoke
Individuals with eating disorders
People who follow extremely restrictive diets that eliminate entire food groups, especially if those restrictions involve avoiding fruits and vegetables
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Vitamin C Combined With Iron Leads To Better Absorption
Another plus to vitamin C is how it interacts with other vitamins and minerals in the body, such as iron. Iron supports proper growth and development, aids the bodys ability to deliver oxygen throughout the body, and helps make certain hormones, according to the NIH. Nonheme iron, which is the type of iron found in plants, can be tricky for the body to absorb, but eating vitamin C at the same time as nonheme iron leads to better absorption, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Are Probiotics Safe For Your Immune System
There are some situations where beneficial bacteria can post a threat to the host
Noreen emailed to ask Could you do a podcast on probiotic foods that one should avoid if one has a compromised immune system? Is commercial yogurt ok since its pasteurized? What about kombucha? Homemade sauerkraut, pickles, hot sauces?
Before I answer Noreens questions, lets talk about how probiotic bacteria might affect the immune system.
One of the immune systems jobs is to protect us from harmful bacterial. And the beneficial organisms that we refer to as probiotics contribute to this effort in a number of ways. In the gut, a robust population of beneficial bacteria can help crowd out harmful bacteria, making it harder for them to thrive. In addition, probiotic bacteria can influence the activity of our own immune cells, regulating inflammation, barrier function, and cell-to-cell signaling.
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Influences The Growth And Repair Of Body Tissues And Helps With Wound Healing
One of the most significant health benefits of vitamin C is the role it plays in the growth and repair of body tissues.
Vitamin C assists in the manufacture of proteins which help to make new skin and blood vessels.
Similar to how vitamin C makes an essential contribution to the growth and repair of skin, it also helps with the wound healing process.
Firstly, the initial inflammatory response to a new wound requires ascorbic acid, and the vitamin also influences the production of scar tissue and new skin .
Furthermore, a vitamin C deficiency can have the severe effect of impairing wound healing in patients undergoing surgical procedures .
How Common Is Vitamin C Deficiency
Scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency is rare in the UK.
There are certain groups of people who are more at risk of vitamin C deficiency. They include:
- People dependent on drugs and/or alcohol who may not have a healthy, balanced diet.
- People who go on very restrictive diets.
- People living on a low income who tend not to buy foods with a high vitamin C content.
- People with a medical condition that affects the bodys ability to digest and absorb food, such as Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Older people who may eat a less varied diet.
- Smokers. Smoking affects the absorption of vitamin C from foods and also vitamin C is used up in the body more quickly in those who smoke.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women because they need higher amounts of vitamin C.
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The Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
No one vitamin can override serious health problems. They often work together â and other lifestyle habits â like getting enough sleep and exercise, and not smoking â are key. That said, research shows that vitamin C may offer health benefits in these areas:
1. Stress. A deficiency in vitamin C is associated with many stress related disease. It is the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals. And because vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, Moyad says naintaining levels of vitamin C can be an ideal marker for overall health.
2. Colds. When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C is not a cure, but some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications. “There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections,” says Moyad.
3. Stroke. Although research has been conflicting, one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. The reasons for this are not completely clear. But what is clear is that people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C.
May Benefit The Lipid Profile
A range of research studies demonstrates that vitamin C may have advantages for cardiovascular health, specifically for the lipid profile.
For instance, a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled clinical trials found that four weeks of vitamin C intake at 500 mg or higher leads to a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides .
Despite the effect on LDL and triglycerides, levels of HDL stayed the same.
Regarding this, many researchers believe that the triglyceride to HDL ratio is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease .
Lowering triglycerides with HDL staying the same would improve this ratio.
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Added Benefits Of Vitamin C
Aside from immunity, vitamin C is essential to produce collagen. Collagen is a major protein that makes up our skin, tendons, connective tissues, bones, and cartilage. But its function in the development of our tissues isnt just structural! Vitamin C plays important role in wound healing since our skin contains very high concentrations of vitamin C. This essential nutrient is also involved in various metabolic pathways responsible for the transportation of fatty acids, synthesis of catecholamine hormones , and improved absorption of non-heme iron .
As you can see, vitamin C plays many essential roles in our body. So how can we ensure we are consuming plenty in our diet? Well as you may have guessed oranges or orange juice is very rich in vitamin C, as are all citrus fruits.
Promotes The Health Of Our Skin Bones Joints And More
Did you know vitamin C is a key component in the production of collagen?* You can thank vitamin C for helping to keep your skin fresh and strong.*
Both oral and topical vitamin C , have been found to support bright and healthy skin.* In fact, according to an observational study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, higher intake of vitamin C is associated with better skin appearance and fewer wrinkles.*
While collagen is certainly a buzzword on the skin care scene the structural protein is actually integral to bone and joint health, toowhich means adequate vitamin C intake is essential for healthy skin, bones, and joints.*
As Ferira expounds further, Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, so yes, while thats skin, joints, and bones, its also muscle, tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, the gut, and so on. She goes on to say that since vitamin C is required for normal collagen synthesis and its protection and preservation from oxidative stress, getting this nutrient daily has massive, whole-body implications.*
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Vitamin C May Limit The Damaging Effects Caused By Free Radicals
Research also indicates that Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, limiting the action of free radicals in our bodies. These substances are involved in oxidative damage affecting tissues which is one of the factors leading to illnesses such as cancer. Although more studies are being conducted to determine if vitamin Cs antioxidant powers have a direct effect on managing illnesses, we know that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps our bodies fight diseases more effectively.
What Are Some Good Natural Sources Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. Fruits include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and lemon, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, strawberries and guava. Vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cooked kale, Brussels sprouts and Chinese cabbage. The amount of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables varies, and can be influenced by season, transportation, shelf life and storage time.
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is ideal because cutting, bruising, cooking, heating or exposing food to certain materials can destroy the vitamin C. To boost your intake, try adding in a fruit or vegetable thats high in vitamin C to some of your meals, or having an orange as a snack.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Vitamin C Serum
The most common side effects of using a vitamin C serum include skin irritation like tingling upon application, redness, and itching, but this mostly happens to sensitive or reactive skin, Dr. Chiu says. Always patch test an area of skin before you try any new product, especially a potent one like a serum. Many derms recommend applying a small dollop to your inner arm for a day or two to see how your skin reacts before slathering it all over your face.
Dr. Chiu warns that stronger formulations can sometimes have a low pH, which can be especially irritating for those with dry and/or sensitive skin. To be safe, she recommends starting with a gentler formula at firstone that contains less than 5% vitamin Cand then working your way up if youd like. Most people can benefit from going up to 10% once their skin can handle it, and some can go up to 20%, as long as its applied only once per day.