Is Vitamin C Really The Wonder Vitamin ?

By on June 29, 2022 in Nutrition with 0 Comments

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which is also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate.  Many long-term takers of Vitamin C refer to it as a “wonder vitamin”.

A lot of claims have been made in the past few years, championing the value of regularly taking the vitamin.  Dr. Linus Pauling’s ( American chemist B 1901 – D 1994) made claims about its ability to prevent and lessen the duration and intensity of the common cold when taken in large doses.

Hey, who hasn’t had their mum, when they were a child and sick, force-fed them doses of Vitamins.

Unfortunately, it is anti-viral and does support the immune system.  It isn’t necessarily a magic bullet that will defeat the common cold or even cancer! In fact, some recent studies seem to be indicating that Dr. Pauling’s claims might be a little overstated.

Vitamin C

What does Vitamin C really do?

Like most other vitamins and mineral supplements, primarily helps the body do its job effectively.

Deficiencies of vitamin C CAN predispose the body to certain ills, and a proper intake either through daily diet or vitamin supplementation can HELP prevent certain conditions and illnesses.

Vitamins and mineral supplements should never be used as the only path to health.  They should form part of a lifestyle that includes overall attention to nutrition, activity (okay, exercise), proper rest and sleep, and enjoyable forms of recreation and relaxation.

I personally would throw in yoga and meditation, but those are MY enjoyable forms of recreation, relaxation, and exercise, I guess. You will have to find what works best for you.

The best sources

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and, as such, is not stored in the body. This means it must be regularly replaced by diet and/or supplementation.

The most commonly recognized sources of vitamin C are citrus and other fruits:

  • oranges
  • tangerines
  • limes
  • guava
  • lemons
  • papayas
  • strawberries
  • Black currants
  • grapefruit
  • and mangoes

As well as a wide range of vegetables. Some vegetables which contain Vitamin C include :

  • collard greens
  • sweet and hot peppers
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • potatoes
  • kale
  • spinach
  • and watercress.

What effects does it have?

Vitamin C is a nutrient valuable for tissue growth, protection of cell membranes from toxic wastes, wound healing, and, as mentioned, support of the immune system.

It supports the growth of collagen and cartilage, protecting in this way against many of the effects of aging.

As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals, and it may help with cancer, high cholesterol, cataracts, diabetes, allergies, asthma, and periodontal disease.

You can increase the effectiveness of vitamin C when taken with vitamin E.

What dose should you take?

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 60 mg per day for adults, although many people, following Dr. Pauling’s lead, take much higher doses in hopes of preventing colds and warding off the effects of aging.

However, in higher doses, there may be some toxicity with one of the side effects being diarrhea. In some cases, higher doses of vitamin C may cause kidney stones or anemia, due to an interference with the absorption of vitamin B12.

As it is water-soluble, any unused portions will be flushed from the body.

So daily intake of foods rich in vitamin C or supplementation with a multivitamin may be of value.

There is no real evidence of major problems associated with taking high doses.  It might still be a good idea to stick within recommended daily allowances since the jury is still out on side effects.

What happens if you don’t have enough Vitamin C?

The most well-known result of a vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, a condition characterized by weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin lesions. Fortunately, scurvy is very rare in our modern society although still found to a greater degree in areas of poor nutrition.

Frequent infections, severe colds, nose bleeds, tiredness, and painful joints may also indicate a deficiency.

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Jack Rourke is the Health Ninja.

A truly average person who has worked his butt off to be awesome fit and healthy. Well maybe just the best version of himself.

With a little effort, the average person can achieve better than average results.


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