WHAT IS VITAMIN C?
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient obtained from fruits and vegetables. Also called “ascorbic acid”, it is the first vitamin produced through fermentation. It is one of the most popular vitamins, having been integrated into supplements, skin and hair care products, juices, candies, etc. Some of the best sources of dietary vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, and kale.
WHAT IS VITAMIN C GOOD FOR?
Vitamin C has a wide array of functions, with immune support being the most popular. Do you also amp your dose during common colds and infections? While it does not directly affect the root cause (e.g., virus), studies show that it can shorten illness duration and ease symptoms. As an antioxidant, it protects the cells against free radicals from pollution, radiation, stress, and other sources. Consequently, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C is also crucial for synthesising collagen, the major structural protein in the skin. For this reason, vitamin C is heavily marketed as one of the keys to a youthful appearance. It can also speed up recovery from surgery and skin injuries.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE VITAMIN C DAILY FOR THE LONG TERM?
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means it has to dissolve in water before entering bodily tissues. Unfortunately, it cannot be stored for a long time, so you should acquire it from food or supplements daily. High doses of this vitamin can cause headaches, heartburn, and gastrointestinal distress. It is unlikely to cause serious side effects due to its water solubility. However, long-term consumption of vitamin C beyond its tolerable level can lead to kidney problems. It is unlikely to reach toxic levels by dietary means only.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN C DO YOU NEED?
The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 90 milligrams (mg) for adult men and 75 mg for adult women. The maximum daily intake level is 2000 mg. You need to acquire this nutrient daily because it is continuously depleted from your system. Provided you’re on a balanced diet and do not have a health condition, you only need supplementation to cover any nutritional gap.