Vitamin C is a vital vitamin that can help support the immune system. It is found in foods, supplements, and in several over-the-counter medications. When you take vitamin C, it’s not just the vitamin itself that you’re getting. It is also a large number of other compounds that are active ingredients in vitamin C. These compounds can help with absorption, circulation, energy, and more.
When you take vitamin C, what you’re really getting is a collection of chemicals you need for your body to work properly.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has several important functions.
- helping to protect cells and keeping them healthy
- maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- helping with wound healing
Lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy.
Vitamin C deficiency
A Vitamin C deficiency can cause a wide array of problems, including a type of depression known as scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability. People with low Vitamin C levels also have an increased risk of infections and other health problems. This is all very scary, but it’s not impossible to prevent—and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
You might not realize it, but every cell in your body needs Vitamin C to function properly. Now, you may be wondering how a simple vitamin could help your overall well-being. Well, Vitamin C is considered a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is easily flushed out of the body. This means it may be difficult to get enough Vitamin C no matter what you eat or drink.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Tiredness and weakness.
- Muscle and joint pains.
- Easy bruising.
- Spots that look like tiny, red-blue bruises on your skin.
- Dry skin.
- Splitting hair.
Good sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, boosts the immune system, and may help prevent heart disease and cancer. There are several types of vitamin C, such as L-ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, and other forms. Many foods contain vitamin C, including red peppers, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, kiwi, broccoli, and tomatoes. Vitamin C can also be bought in supplement form.
Good sources include:
- citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
- brussels sprouts
How much vitamin C do I need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C is 75mg/day for women and 90mg/day for men. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. You should be able to get enough vitamin C from your diet, but supplements are available if you find yourself still lacking in the vitamin.
What happens if I take too much vitamin C?
Taking large amounts (more than 1,000mg per day) of vitamin C can cause:
- stomach pain
These symptoms should disappear once you stop taking vitamin C supplements.