Are you getting enough vitamin C? Perhaps you’re concerned that you’re not eating sufficient quantities of fruits and vegetables, or it’s a struggle to get the kids to eat their veggies.
Our bodies can’t manufacture it, and this vitamin is essential for good health. So it makes sense to consider a high-strength vitamin C supplement, for ourselves and our children, to make sure we’re getting enough.
You may be wondering how much is enough.
Vitamin C to maintain your health: how much is enough?
It’s recommended that healthy adults ensure that they consume 45 mg of vitamin C a day for good health. (2) Since a navel orange contains around 70 mg, and a cup of broccoli contains 81 mg, most people can easily meet the daily recommendations from their diet.
However, that’s to maintain health—what if you want to become healthier, so you can run a marathon? Or have health challenges, and you hope that vitamin C can help?
If you choose to buy vitamin C as a supplement, standard supplements contain up to 500 mg, with high-strength supplements containing up to 1000 mg.
Before you choose a supplement, consider the uses and whether you might need a supplement.
What’s vitamin C good for? It’s needed by every cell
Here’s what’s important: vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is needed by every cell in your body; it’s vital to keep your body’s systems healthy too, including your immune system. Vitamin C protects you from free radicals, which have been implicated in many diseases.
Free radicals are molecules that your body produces. They’re harmful and react within your body to cause oxidation, which damages cells, causing inflammation. To keep free radicals under control, and minimize inflammation, you need antioxidants.
The antioxidants in vitamin C battle the damage which is caused when free radicals are unchecked.
It’s believed that vitamin C can assist at all stages of life. Many people take it to prevent colds and flu. Although it can’t stop you getting a cold, it can help you to get better.
The top seven benefits of high-strength vitamin C
Let’s look at some of the benefits of vitamin C and high-strength vitamin C.
1. Your body needs vitamin C to grow, and repair itself
Although many studies have been done on vitamin C, the results are often contradictory. Indisputably however, vitamin C is needed for growth in children.
Moreover, it’s vital at every age for your body to maintain and repair itself. A deficiency leads to serious illness.
2. Vitamin C helps with inflammation, believed to be caused by free radicals
Free radicals damage your cells. When they’re unchecked, they lead to oxidative stress and inflammation, which is believed to contribute to many chronic illnesses, as well as aging.
Antioxidants help to control free radicals: vitamin C is a known antioxidant.
3. Because it functions as a diuretic, vitamin C may help with high blood pressure
All the systems of your body work together. (5) Since vitamin C acts as a diuretic, it helps to control fluid retention, which leads to high blood pressure.
Also known as hypertension, uncontrolled high blood pressure has serious long-term health consequences.
4. Your teeth need vitamin C
Healthy teeth need healthy gums. When it acts as an antioxidant, it helps to maintain your body’s collagen, which is vital for healthy gums and strong teeth.
5. Your skin is the largest organ in your body: it needs vitamin C
It’s long been known that healthy skin is a good indication of overall health. Healthy skin contains a concentration of vitamin C. If you’re deficient in vitamin C, skin wounds are slower to heal.
Researchers believe that vitamin C can protect your skin from sun damage, as well as maintain moisture in your skin.
6. Aging and wrinkles: vitamin C may help
As we age, we lose collagen from our skin. Collagen is a structural protein: its loss leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. Many studies (7) show that it is essential to maintain collagen in tissues.
Recent ultrasound studies may indicate that when it’s applied as a serum, vitamin C may be absorbed into our skin to improve the skin’s appearance.
7. Vitamin C increases your body’s intake of iron
Iron is essential for healthy blood: it builds red blood cells, which carry oxygen to every cell in your body. However, your body may struggle to use the iron available from food: vitamin C assists your body with this.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it is even more vital, because the iron in plants is hard for your body to absorb.
High-strength vitamin C: side effects may occur
Your body needs vitamin C every day, but can’t store it. Any excess is excreted.
Research suggests that although taking up to 1000 mg a day of vitamin C may be safe, an excess has side effects, particularly at high doses over 1000 mg, over long periods.
These side effects include: nausea and heartburn, as well as diarrhea and headaches. Over time an excess of it may lead to the development of kidney stones, which can be painful.
Be guided by your health practitioner.
It’s extremely vital to get guidance if you’re taking other medications; it has known interactions with drugs.
For example, if you’re taking estrogen-based contraception, vitamin C enhances the effects of estrogen (it keeps the estrogen in your body longer.) This may lead to a hormonal imbalance, so get your doctor’s advice.
The healthy vitamin: vitamin C has many benefits
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting sufficient vitamin C, a high-strength supplement may help. However, do talk to your health practitioner, and get guidance.