Vitamin C otherwise know ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. We cannot store it in the body, which means we need it from our diet every day.
Vitamin C helps to protect cells and keep them healthy. It is also involved in the production of collagen, which maintains healthy connective tissues, important for the support and structure of tissues and organs including the skin, bones and blood vessels.
Vitamin C helps with wound healing, and consuming vitamin C increases the amount of iron we can absorb from vegetables, such as brocolli, sprouts and kale.
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that may protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke. Research suggests radicals can build up and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
What if you don’t get enough vitamin C?
Although very rare in the developed world, people who don’t get enough vitamin C in their diets are at risk of getting scurvy.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include bleeding gums, feeling lethargic, bone pain, and joint pain. You may also have a vitamin C deficiency if wounds don’t heal or they break open after they appear to have healed.
If you eat a balanced diet it is unlikely that you will be deficient in vitamin C. Many foods such as bread, cereal and soya milk, are fortified with vitamins and the only time vitamin C deficiency would occur these days would be with people with very very poor diets, who don’t eat and fruit or vegetables, but just eat processed foods.
How much vitamin C do I need?
The recommended daily intake for non-smoking adults is 40mg of vitamin C per day, however on average in the UK adults have 80mg of Vitamin C per day.
Smoking depletes vitamin C in the body’s tissue and blood and people who smoke need more vitamin C than the average person. People who have had surgery will also benefit from additional vitamin C intake to help their wounds heal.
Is it possible to have too much vitamin C?
If you take a high dose of vitamin C, your body will just excrete what it doesn’t need it in your urine. However, large doses of vitamin C (more than 1,000mg per day) can give you diarrhoea, stomach pain and flatulence.
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, because this could be harmful.
Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Condition that Vitamin C Helps:
- Ageing of the Skin
- Common Cold
- Healing of Wounds
- Blood Pressure
- Urinary Tract Infection
Good Sources Of Vitamin C:
- oranges and orange juice
- red and green peppers
- brussels sprouts