Here's a blog for you to learn more about vitamin C!
Some basic facts about vitamin C, or ascorbic acid:
It's a water soluble vitamin
Humans (unlike most animals!) can only take it in through diet
It is required for making: - collagen, which plays an important role in wound healing - L-carnitine, which helps in fat burning - certai neurotransmitters like serotonin (constricts blood vessels, low levels can cause depression) and norepinephrine (responsible in fight-or-flight response)
It's an antioxidant, neutralising unstable molecules that can damage cells - it might help prevent/delay development of e.g. certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases - long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts
Boosts the immune system
Helps with calcium absorption
Did you know that despite the fact it is commonly said to make sure to eat vitamin C when having a cold, there is actually no convincing evidence for this!
Foods with vitamin C
Everyone knows oranges are full of vitamin C, but what other foods contain it?
Fruits and fruit juices (especially citrus) - e.g. orange, kiwifruit, strawberries
How much vitamin C?
The recommended Daily Value (DV) for adults and children older than 4 years if 60mg.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) per day for adults is:
Females 75mg (during pregnancy 85mg, during breastfeeding 120mg)
Smokers should add 35mg to their RDA due to there being an increased oxidative stress which means there are more unstable molecules that need to be neutralised.
Too much v.s. too little
The more vitamin C you take in, the less will be absorbed by your body; when taking in more than 1000mg, less than 50% will be absorbed whilst for an intake between 30-180mg per day 70-90% will be absorbed.
Intake of more than 2000mg per day is considered too much, however vitamin C has low toxicity and therefore taking too much won't have serious adverse effects.
Some common complaints are:
Insufficient intake of vitamin C (less than 10mg/day) can, however, lead to scurvy which can have fatal complications if left untreated. This is uncommon in developed countries.
Poor wound healing
Inflammation of the gums
Loosening of teeth
Bone disease (in children)
Many sailors at the end of the 18th century died from scurvy due to their limited vitamin C intake. In the mid-1700s a British surgeon experimented and determined that it could be cured by eating citrus fruits or juices. Scientific proof didn't exist until 1932.