Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid, Cevitamin acid, is water soluble and a potent antioxidant.Most animals synthesize their own vitamin C, but humans, apes and guinea pigs must rely upon dietary sources.
It plays a primary role in the formation of collagen, which is important for the growth and repair of body-tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, bones and teeth.
Vitamin C helps in the body’s absorption of iron. It is used up rapidly under stress conditions.
Vitamin C prevents the oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Caution: Don’t chew vitamin C tablets or let the vitamin remain on your teeth. The ascorbic acid in the tablet can destroy your teeth.
Linus Pauling is the man who claimed that large doses of vitamin C could help us fight diseases and fight off the common cold.
More about vitamin C at the Linus Pauling Institute
Function of vitamin C
Vitamin C can heal wounds, burns and bleeding gums. It can increase effectiveness of drugs used to treat urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C can speed up recovery after surgery, help decreasing blood cholesterol and it is aid in preventing many types of viral and bacterial infections and generally potentiate the immune system. It offers protection against many forms of cancer by counteracting formation of nitrosamines (cancer causing substances). It can also act as an natural laxative, lower incidences of blood clots in veins. Aid in treatment and prevention of common cold. Extend life by enabling protein cells to hold together. Increase the absorption of inorganic iron. Reduce effects of many allergy producing substances. Help lower blood pressure and reduce bone loss particularly in older men. It prevents scurvy.
Vitamin C is one of the most widely taken supplements.
It is available in just about every form a vitamin can take, including tablets, capsules, lozenges, time release tablets, syrups, powders and chewable wafers.
The form that is pure vitamin C is derived from corn dextrose.
The difference in “natural” or “organic” vitamin C and ordinary ascorbic acid is primarily the individual’s ability to digest it.
The best vitamin C supplement is one that contains the complete C complex of bioflavonoids, hesperidin and rutin.
Tablets and capsules are usually supplied in strengths up to 1000mg. and in the powder form sometimes up to 5000mg.
Daily doses most often used are 500mg to 4g.
Rose hips vitamin C contains bioflavonoids and other enzymes that help C assimilate. They are the richest natural source of vitamin C. (The C is actually manufactured under the bud of the rose- called hip). Areola C is made with Areola berries.
Advice from Dr. Mindell on taking vitamin C:
Taking it twice a day to maintain constant high level of vitamin C. Because vitamin C is excreted in two to three hours, depending on the quantity of food in the stomach, and it is important to maintain high level of vitamin C in the blood stream at all times.
If you are taking more than 750mg. daily a magnesium supplement is suggested to deterrent against kidney stones.
Carbon monoxide destroys vitamin C, so city dwellers should definitely up their intake. If you are on the pill you need extra dosage of vitamin C.
To reduce the severity of colds take 1000mg. of vitamin C twice daily. It’s been shown to decrease the histamine in the body by 40%.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Citrus fruits, berries, green and leafy vegetables, tomatoes,cantaloupe, cauliflower, potatoes, and peppers.
Here is a full list of foods and herbs loaded with vitamin C.
Signs of deficiency
Signs of excess
Excessive intake can cause oxalic and uric acid stone formation , though taking magnesium, B6 and with sufficient water intake this can be rectified. Occasional very high doses (more than 10g daily) can cause unpleasant side effects, such as diarrhea, excess urination and skin rashes. If any of these occur, cut back on your dosage.
Recommended daily dosage
The RDI/RDA for adults is 60 mg. Higher doses are recommended during pregnancy and lactation: 70-95mg. Smokers and older people have greater need of vitamin C.