The Battle of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue as well as acting as an antioxidant.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin (meaning, your body doesn’t store it) and is found in many fresh vegetables and fruits. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Excess amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. Therefore you need an ongoing supply of such vitamins in your diet. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.
What does vitamin C do and what are the benefits?
Vitamin C helps repair and regenerate tissues. It also helps to protect against heart disease and aids in the absorption of iron. Supplemental vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold, and supports healthy immune function.
Different forms of vitamin C
Calcium ascorbate and ascorbic acid are both forms of vitamin C. Calcium ascorbate, being alkaline forming in the blood, will alkalize the blood while ascorbic acid, being acid forming in the blood, will acidify the blood.
Supplements consisting of ascorbic acid contain 100 percent vitamin C.
- Highly acidic
- 100% Vitamin C
- Causes stomach upset
- Cannot be taken on an empty stomach
- 2 to 3 hours vitamin retention
- 25% absorption rate
Calcium ascorbate, on the other hand, is a combination of calcium and ascorbic acid, so it provides about 890 to 910 milligrams of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid per 1,000 milligram supplement, with the remaining 90 to 110 milligrams coming from calcium.
- Non- acidic
- Vitamin C with benefits of Calcium
- Good for maintenance of healthy skim, cartilage, teeth, bone and blood vessels
- Can be taken on an empty stomach
- Has anti-bacterial properties
- 6 to 8 hours vitamin retention
Due to its function as an antioxidant and its role in immune function, vitamin C has been promoted as a means to help prevent and/or treat numerous health conditions.
Are you getting enough vitamin C?
While some people are getting get enough vitamin C food sources, others have trouble getting enough of it.
- If you are smoking or exposed to secondhand smoke, you need to increase the amount of vitamin C that your body needs to repair damage caused by free radicals.
- If your babies or infants are not breastfed. Evaporated or boiled cow’s milk has very little vitamin C and heat can destroy vitamin C. Make sure that your infant formula have adequate amounts of vitamin C.
- If you eat a very limited variety of food.
- If you have certain medical conditions such as severe malabsorption, some types of cancer, and kidney disease requiring hemodialysis.
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) * Adequate Intake (AI)
What happens if you don’t get
enough vitamin C?
People who get little or no vitamin C can have fragile bones. Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, a major component of connective tissue, cartilage, bones and teeth. Without collagen, blood vessel walls become extremely fragile; they break easily and have difficulty healing. Vitamin C deficiency is often associated with:
- Bleeding (especially gums)
- Slow wound healing
- Severe vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, characterized by general weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin hemorrhage (bleeding).
Other symptoms of vitamin C insufficiency include: dry and splitting hair; rough, dry, scaly skin; easy bruising; nosebleeds; swollen and painful joints; and anemia-related symptoms such as lack of energy and tiredness.
Where can we get Vitamin C?
If you’re no fan of citrus fruits, you can get your dose of Vitamin see from bell peppers, cantaloupes, kale, strawberries, and papaya all contain high doses – or dietary supplements containing vitamin C.
SELECTED FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN C *DV = Daily Value