Vitamin C 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Essential Vitamin
You’ve likely heard of vitamin C as an essential nutrient for your body, but what does that mean?
What vitamin is it? an element? What effects does it have on your body? How much should you take to keep your health in check? We are available to respond to all of these queries and more. Learn more about this essential vitamin by reading on!
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an important vitamin required by the human body to function.
Your cells use it for the building blocks of tissue and other components. It’s best known for strengthening the immune system and preventing infection. There are two forms of vitamin C in your diet, ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid.
Why do we need vitamin C?
Vitamin C helps maintain healthy bones, teeth, cartilage, and gums.
It also strengthens the immune system and helps repair tissues.
Studies have also found that people who don’t get enough vitamin C may be more prone to infection and complications from colds. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people in the United States do not eat an adequate amount of fruit or vegetables to meet their daily needs for this essential nutrient.
While a few foods such as citrus fruits or juices, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, red peppers, green peppers and broccoli contain significant amounts of vitamin C naturally – other good sources include papaya, peaches and melons – many Americans are not getting enough of this important nutrient through their diet alone.
Natural sources of vitamin C
Numerous fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, tomatoes, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, and peppers, contain vitamin C. You could require a supplement if your diet isn’t providing enough of it. What dosage is ideal for you should be discussed with your doctor.
Vitamin C: How Much is Too Much
It is easy to meet the daily requirements of vitamin C. An orange or a cup of strawberries, broccoli or chopped red pepper deliver enough vitamin C for the day.
The recommended vitamin C amount for men is 90 mg a day while for women it is 75 mg a day.
However, a pregnant woman needs 120 mg a day. The higher limit for all adult is 2,000 mg a day. However, exceeding the vitamin C doses are harmful as it can cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach, headache, and diarrhea. The point is here that a healthy diet meet the daily requirement of vitamin C for most people.
What are the Signs of Vitamin C
The discovery of vitamin C is dates back to the 1700s and 1800s when sailors were facing health issues and even dying due to the lack of the nutrient. The disease called scurvy led to fatigue, weakness and bleeding gums. However, it was found soon that it could be cure with citrus fruits which are full of vitamin C–t he nutrient that most sailors lack.
You don’t need excessive amount of vitamin to prevent scurvy. Just 10 mg a day can work, which might be why, these days, vitamin C deficiency is rare, impacting only 6 percent of the US population.
However, not all Americans fulfill their needs of vitamin. Many studies have shown that nearly 118 million US adults face vitamin C between 2003 and 2006.
Some of the signs of vitamin C deficiency are…
- Red Gums
- Easy Bleeding and Bruising
- Joint Pain
- Bumpy Skin
- Brittle Bones
- Nail and Hair Problems
- Delayed Healing.
The Bottom Line:
Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is an essential nutrient that the body needs to function properly, since it aids in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, muscles, and blood vessels. Vitamin C can be found in certain fruits and vegetables, but it’s also present in many kinds of plants (and even some animal tissues) as an antioxidant.