of Vitamin C
Is Vitamin C?
is one of the many essential nutrients that are necessary for a
healthy and productive life. When you look at the Recommended Daily
Value on the back of a product from the grocery store, the nutrient
will be referred to as Vitamin C, but it goes by many other names as
well. Vitamin C is also referred to as Ascorbic Acid, and the
ingredients list on food products will always refer to vitamins and
nutrients by their scientific names.
vitamin is a member of group of vitamins known as Water Soluble
Vitamins. When you consume these nutrients, they circulate through
the blood stream and they are used as needed. If not needed as they
are consumed, the body simply releases them through the urine.
Does Vitamin C Do?
C Builds Collagen
is a primary building block of a number of necessary structures in
the body. Vitamin C is needed for the body to create collagen.
Collagen is a protein which creates the connective tissue that holds
the human body together. Mammals have high levels of collagen in
their body. At least a quarter of the protein in the mammalian body
is made up of collagen. Collagen is the main protein found in
ligaments and tendons, and also forms the structural foundation of
the skin. Finally, Collagen is found in connective tissue inside the
C is a Vital Antioxidant
is also important to the body because it is one of the primary
antioxidants that the body uses to protect itself from Free Radicals.
Free Radicals are the byproduct of our body's ability to convert food
into energy. As a result of the chemical reactions that sustain us as
human beings, atoms are released as by-products, which can damage the
body and lead to premature aging and increase the risk of a number of
different health conditions. Free Radicals circulate through the
body, reacting with cells that are going through vital processes,
preventing them from accomplishing their ultimate goal of sustaining
the homeostasis of the body.
we have to have energy to survive, so the production of free radicals
is an inevitable aspect of the physiological processes which keep us
alive. Antioxidants are the body's primary line of defense versus the
damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are highly reactive to
these free radical compounds, and benefit the body by reacting with
free radicals before they can do to much damage to the cells of the
C Supports the Synthesis of Other Antioxidants
addition to Vitamin C's importance to collagen production, the
nutrient also supports the healthy production of other antioxidants
that the human body is able to produce on its own, such as Vitamin E
and L-Carnitine. As clearly evidenced in severe Vitamin C deficiency,
the nutrient also plays a role in neurological health, encouraging
the synthesis of particular neurotransmitters that the brain uses to
send messages to the body.
C Helps the Body Absorb Iron
is also incredibly important for energy because the nutrient helps
the body absorb and distribute iron through the body. This is why
Vitamin C deficiency can lead directly to exhaustion and anemia.
C Encourages Healthy Testosterone Production
vitamin even plays a vital role in the synthesis of Testosterone, the
primary male sex hormone (which is also important for women as well).
If you don't consume enough Vitamin C, your body won't be able to
produce Testosterone as effectively, which leads to a wide variety of
health complications and significantly increases a variety of
age-related complications which increase mortality risk.
Are the Risks of Vitamin C Deficiency?
Vitamin C is so important to the skin, a deficiency in Vitamin C can
lead to significantly decreased healing ability, because the body
does not have the necessary ingredients to rebuild the skin
efficiently. Severe Vitamin C deficiency leads to a condition known
as Scurvy. Scurvy leads to a number of different breakdowns in normal
symptoms are generally extreme exhaustion and malaise, and eventually
the skin starts to break down, leading to open wounds if not treated
for too long. It also affects neurology, leading to partial
immobilization and severe depression.
is the RDA of Vitamin C?
Recommended Daily Allowance represents the government-suggested
minimum nutrient intake needed to support the normal function of the
human body. This minimum intake is dependent upon a number of
factors, the most significant of which are age and gender. For
adults, the following values are recommended:
RDA For Men Over 18: 90 Milligrams
RDA for Women over 18: 75 Milligrams
RDA for Pregnant Women: 85 Milligrams
RDA for Lactating Women: 120 Milligrams
important to note that people that engage in the vice of smoking have
higher needs for Vitamin C. This is because tobacco consumption of
all forms significantly increases the incidence of Free Radicals
bombarding the human body, which makes the body expend existing
stores of Vitamin C, both through direct depletion and because it
increases the body's production of other antioxidants such as Vitamin
that smoke need to intake an average of 35 milligrams more Vitamin C
in order to counteract the effects of smoking.
Much Vitamin C Can I Take Safely?
Tolerable Upper Level Intake (abbreviated UL) represents the highest
level of a nutrient that an individual can take without experiencing
any significant complications as a result of overdose.
Vitamin C is a Water Soluble Vitamin, humans can intake high levels
of the nutrient without any negative symptoms, and it is very
difficult to intake toxic levels of Vitamin C. The rule of thumb for
maximum consumption of Vitamin C is 2000 milligrams per day. Beyond
this level, individuals will be at risk of experiencing health
complications as a result of consumption.
take more than 2000 milligrams across the course of the day, you have
a low risk of complications because water solubility means that your
body is evacuating Vitamin C quicker than you are taking it in. It is
vitally important to never consume more than 2000 milligrams over a
short period of time, because your body needs time to release the
optimal level of Vitamin C production for optimal health and immune
optimization appears to be around 500 milligrams per day, but as long
as you take fewer than 2000 milligrams per day, the risk of
experiencing any negative symptoms is exceedingly low.
is the Difference between Water Soluble and Fat Soluble Vitamins?
Soluble Vitamins are not stored by the human body, and are utilized
as needed while they are available in the blood stream. Because they
are water soluble, the body can send excess nutrients to the kidneys
where they are processed out of the body. The primary water soluble
vitamins are Vitamin C and the variety of B vitamins.
Soluble Vitamins, on the other hand, are taken and stored by the
human body in fat cells. The most important Fat Soluble Vitamins are
Vitamin D, A, E, and K. If you consume too much of these nutrients,
the body will store way too much and you will experience illness as a
result. If you consume an extreme amount, you can even experience
major issues or even death. For example, bear meat contains toxic
levels of Vitamin A because of their great size and strength.
Consuming bear meat can make humans seriously ill.
Are Common Sources of Vitamin C?
with the highest concentrations of Vitamin C are fruits and
vegetables. The foods with the highest levels of Vitamin C are Citrus
Fruits and various forms of peppers. The most common sources of
Vitamin C in the American diet are tomato juice, tomatoes, citrus
fruits, and potatoes.
fruits and vegetables that contribute to optimal Vitamin C
consumption are cantaloupe, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, broccoli,
kiwi, green peppers, and red peppers.
is also one of the most common vitamins that you will find in
fortified foods. Vitamin C is not available in any appreciable amount
in natural grains, but many breakfast foods and cereals are fortified
with the nutrient.
5 Sources of Vitamin C Per Serving Among Common American Foods
Red Peppers 95 Milligrams
Orange Juice 93 Milligrams
Oranges 70 Milligrams
Grapefruit Juice 70 Milligrams
Kiwi 64 Milligrams
Juice is Not Necessarily the Best Source for Vitamin C
nothing wrong with modest consumption of orange juice and other fruit
juices, but many people try to get their vitamins solely through the
consumption of these juices. The problem with fruit juices is that
they do indeed convey high concentrations of many vital nutrients,
but they are also loaded up with carbohydrate calories.
If you eat
a healthy and conscientious diet, there is no real reason to consume
fruit juices with high calorie content, because you will get Vitamin
C most efficiently per calorie if you choose fruits and veggies with
significant Vitamin C, and if you choose foods fortified with Vitamin
C, there is even less reason to turn to juices to fulfill your need.
want to maximize your nutrient intake and minimize your caloric
consumption at breakfast, drink water or black coffee and eat the
fruit rather than drink the juice.
Are Some Good Sources for Supplemental Vitamin C?
If you do
choose to turn to Vitamin C supplements, there are a number of
excellent options available. Studies have shown that, although some
vitamins are affected by the means they are ingested, Vitamin C is
absorbed effectively no matter by what means that the body intakes
multivitamins will generally have enough Vitamin C to provide you
with an ample amount of the vitamin, especially if you intake some
Vitamin C through your diet. If you are interested in taking larger
doses because of the potential immune benefits, there are a number of
powdered drink mixes like Emergen-C which provide a dose of around
1000 milligrams of Vitamin C while only adding a small number of
calories to your diet.
There Any Risks Associated With Excess Vitamin C Consumption?
There are medical risks related to the over-consumption of Vitamin-C.
The upper limit that can be taken with assured safety by an adult is
around 2000 milligrams per day.
It is important to note that babies, children, and adolescents have a
lower need for Vitamin C and achieve toxicity at lower levels. For
example, children from the age of one to three should only have a
maximum of 400 milligrams of Vitamin C per day.
The following are the symptoms of Vitamin C overdose:
If you consume high levels of Vitamin C in your diet, especially if
only occasionally, you likely won't experience any of these symptoms,
even if you consume more than 2000 milligrams over the course of the
day. Vitamin C overdose generally only occurs when individuals take
extremely high doses of Vitamin C all at once, overloading the body's
ability to process the water soluble nutrient out of the body.
Also, because Vitamin C is an acid, extremely high consumption can
have a negative effect upon the teeth, weakening and softening the
enamel, especially if you don't engage in responsible oral hygiene
Thoughts About Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an incredibly vital nutrient and it is important to get
enough every day, and it is very likely that taking more than the
Recommended Daily Value, even five to ten times the base
recommendation, can provide some supplemental benefits.
The most important thing to recognize when trying to get your daily
values of Vitamin C is that you get it from calorie-efficient
sources. You can drink fortified artificial fruit juices or turn back
glass after glass of orange juice to get your Vitamin C for the day,
but you will also consume hundreds of calories in excess without
getting other nutrients that you need in your diet.
Get your daily Vitamin C from responsible sources and leave room for
other important nutrients, and you are on the road to a truly