Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the essential vitamins that we all know we should take. It is vital for immunity, healthy skin, hair and nails, wound healing, and the body’s general health. What are some of the best vitamin C sources and why should you ingest it?
Did you know that Vitamin C participates in collagen production? Without it, not enough collagen can be made for the body. This is significant since collagen is essential for the body – it is a protein present and supporting all the organs. Besides external benefits (anti-ageing and beauty), it works internally to ensure proper bodily functions.
But should you take vitamin C, how much, and which supplement to take?
Read on as we look at the vitamin C deficiency, proper dosage and three most common forms in the market today: tablets, drink and granules.
How much vitamin C do you really need?
The dosage somewhat differs depending on the source, but typically, healthy adults need anywhere between 40 to 90 mg per day. This depends mainly on body composition, lifestyle, diet, and levels of activity. For men, the most common recommended dose is 90 mg per day, and for women, it’s 75 mg.
The recommended dose is sufficient to prevent serious deficiency and scurvy. Still, it is not enough to reap all the benefits of vitamin C. Therefore, since the body does not store vitamin C, commonly recommended doses range from 200 mg to 500 mg for healthy adults. A 1000 mg dose is recommended if you are coming down with the flu or have a severe cold.
However, some people need higher daily doses. Smokers, for example, due to the oxidization process, lose 60 mg of vitamin C per cigarette, so they would need to up their intake and supplement. People with poor diet, who live in polluted areas, and are exposed to heavy metals, are also at a higher risk of vitamin C deficiency.
Luckily, even higher doses are safe.
Consistent intake up to 1000 mg is unlikely to have any side effects. Research even suggests that up to 2000 mg per day is safe.
Doses of 3000 mg of vitamin C and above can result in diarrhoea, stomach pain and flatulence. These symptoms can be mitigated if you split the total intake into several doses throughout the day.
Ideally, your daily vitamin C intake range should be between 250 and 1000 mg per day, food sources included. So if you eat loads of vitamin-C-rich foods, you might need to supplement with a smaller dose, or not at all.
Statistics and symptoms of deficiency
Deficiency in vitamin C mainly occurs because of the insufficient intake of vitamin-C-rich foods.
However, vitamin C deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries. A 2004 study in the USA found that 14% of males and 10% of females were vitamin C deficient. For the age group 25-64, 17% of males had the deficiency and 12% of females in that demographic had low blood levels.
The numbers, however, tend to double as we age. A British study in 1999 found that 33% of the population aged 65 consumed insufficient amounts of vitamin C.
Common symptoms of deficiency include scurvy, bleeding gums and loss of teeth, dry, damaged or rough skin, bent body hair (because of the modified protein production), easy skin bruising, swollen joints, red spots or lines on fingernails and spoon-shaped fingernails, weak bones, consistent iron deficiency, depression, weight gain, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
Which foods are rich in vitamin C?
It’s pretty manageable to get all the recommended doses from food alone, with a few simple tweaks.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C:
- Acerola cherries
- Oranges and orange juice
- Bell peppers (green and red)
- Bok choy
- Brussel sprouts
- Leafy greens
- Potatoes (sweet and white)
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Turnip greens
Since vitamin C breaks down quickly when affected by heat, make sure you eat more raw fruits and vegetables than cooked ones.
We’ll also agree that there are delicious options in the list above, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get your vitamins in.
To supplement, or not to supplement: If you want to get the best
Vitamin C is one of the most researched vitamins to this day. The supplementation comes in many forms.
The most common ones are the vitamin C tablets. These often pack 500 and up to 1000 mg of Vitamin C and efficiently cover all the daily intake. One pill a day after the meal is all you need.
Some people, though, prefer other forms – another popular form is the vitamin C drink. Simply pour the dissolvable powder from the sachet into a glass of water, mix it, and – before you know it – you have already ingested 500 mg of Vitamin C per drink. With a delightful taste, we might add.
Finally, for the active people and the people who need an on-the-go solution, direct granules of Vitamin C are a way to go. Pleasant taste, no need to dissolve them in water; these little bundles of goodness are perfect for busy people. Typically, each granule packs 250 mg of vitamin C, which lets you dose the intake accordingly. Think of them as healthy candies with great taste. The excellent Vitamin C granules also protect your teeth.
Choose the best vitamin C sources suits your lifestyle and needs for supplementation. Check out Goodwill Pharma UK’s online shop for all the solutions you need. We got you covered!
Vitamin C for the win
Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins. Its role in immunity, collagen and overall protein production, healthy-looking skin and anti-ageing properties make it a must-have for a healthy life.
Although vitamin C deficiency is not as prevalent as with some other vitamins, more people experience it as we age.
While the food can provide all the daily intake you need, sometimes we can use supplementation.
It is important to know the proper dosage and choose the solution that best fits your lifestyle. Think about your lifestyle, diet habits, how busy you are, what form you like, the sources of vitamin C, and choose the best option!
For more health tips and an in-depth look at vitamins and supplements, read our blog.