LET’S TALK VITAMIN C!

fruit-2776795_1920All vitamins are important and have their specific benefits, but Vitamin C is the one I seem to have always heard the most about.  I don’ remember when the health/vitamin craze became so popular – or least when I noticed it.  But I know there’s been a lot of talk about it.  And for many years before they passed away, my parents – especially my father – always touted Vitamin C as a “wonder drug.”  Feeling poorly, have a cold, aches, or flu?  Vitamin C was the cure!  So, I decided to start my vitamin series with Vitamin C and do a little research so I could make an informed assessment.  There’s a lot of information out there!  As a result, you should know that my aim here was to simply raise Vitamin C awareness, and to provide you with a quick place to look for some major benefits and some of the side effects and possible dangers of taking this medication.

One of the first things I discovered was that the human body doesn’t have the capacity to generate vitamin C on its own.  Therefore, it must be received through food and other supplements.  Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the most effective and safest nutrients. It is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant in the synthesis of collagen, which is a type of protein. Fibrous in nature, collagen connects and supports other bodily tissues, such as skin, bone, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. It also supports the internal organs and is even present in teeth.  All in all, Vitamin C has some very impressive benefits.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

Some of the amazing health benefits of Vitamin C that I discovered are:

Treats the Common Cold

Vitamin C enhances the immune system of our body, which protects us from cold and cough. It facilitates the absorption of iron and, therefore, strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses.

Boosts Immunity

Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. Vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system and its stimulation of white blood vessels in the body.

Treats Cancer

Researchers have found that a high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits have a link to a minimized risk for various types of cancer. Studies have also shown that increased consumption of vitamin C is connected with a decreased possibility of cancer of the lungs, mouth, vocal chords, throat, colon, rectum, stomach, and esophagus.

Cures Cataracts (Eye Disorder)

Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more common when cataracts are present. An excessive intake of ascorbic acid increases the blood supply to the ocular areas of the body.

Combats Stroke

Vitamin C helps in reducing the risk of stroke, a type of cardiovascular disease. A diet full of vegetables and fruits supplies a good quantity of this vitamin, which maintains an appropriate blood pressure level. It also protects the body from free radicals which could be the reason for the stroke.

Improves your Mood

Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters. They affect the mood of a person and are critical to the proper functioning of the brain.

Repairs Wounds

Vitamin C helps repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of the connective tissues, which speeds up the process of healing wounds.

Controls Asthma

Ascorbic acid helps reduce the symptoms of asthma. It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution in the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms.

Cures Diabetes

One of the chief reasons for diabetes, as found by various studies, is low levels of ascorbic acid. Supplements of vitamin C are beneficial as a cure for diabetes, as they help in the processing of insulin and glucose.

Prevents Heart Diseases

An adequate amount of ascorbic acid is essential for the protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause them. This could be a major cause of a heart disease called atherosclerosis. Vitamin C acts as a preventative agent against this heart disease, as well as various other cardiac problems.

Lowers Hypertension

People with hypertension are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin C intake helps in lowering the body’s blood pressure.

Treats Vasodilation

Treatment with vitamin C has effectively resulted in the proper dilation of blood vessels in the cases of atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, angina pectoris, and high blood pressure. Results have found that the supplements of this vitamin improve blood vessel dilation and protect cardiovascular health.

Cures Lead Toxicity

Lead toxicity is a severe health problem found mostly in children, especially in urban areas. Abnormal development and growth have been found in some children who are exposed to lead. They develop behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and also tend to have a low IQ. It may damage the kidneys and increase blood pressure in adults. Vitamin C supplements can reduce the blood lead level.

Prevents Scurvy

Scurvy is caused by an insufficient intake of ascorbic acid. The symptoms of scurvy appear due to the weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels that include collagen.

SOME SIDE EFFECTS AND DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN

Along with its beneficial effects, ascorbic acid (the active ingredient contained in Vitamin C may cause some unwanted effects.  Not all of these side effects may occur, and may not occur in everyone that takes Vitamin C.

Some side effects of ascorbic acid may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine.  Your doctor is the one to talk to about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

It is always best and safest to check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, because if they do occur they may need medical attention:

  • side or lower back pain
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness or faintness (with the injection only)
  • flushing or redness of skin
  • headache
  • increase in urination (mild)
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach cramps

Safety of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is generally safe.  However, taking it in high amounts can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. Adults should not exceed 2000 mg/day. High doses of Vitamin C also have an adverse effect on exercise performance.

Recommended Doses and Timing for Vitamin C

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.  People who smoke and those indulge in rigorous training requires higher amount of vitamin C because of increased production of free radicals.

Doses of 200 mg vitamin C taken two times a day have been found effective in reducing damage caused by free radicals during exercise. This is a recommended dose of vitamin C, and it can be taken with food.

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