Vitamin C Functions and Benefits

Otherwise known as L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate, vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. It protects the body against oxidative stress and plays a vital role in at least eight enzymatic reactions.

These reactions include collagen synthesis reactions, which if missing, are capable of causing the most severe symptoms of scurvy. Vitamin C also could help with weight loss.

Vitamin C: Functions In The Human Body

Vitamin C is essential for many metabolic reactions in the body. Deficiency is detrimental to the function of the immune system but contrary to popular belief, is not thought capable of reducing the duration or severity of the common cold in the general population.

However, research has suggested that regular vitamin C intake can reduce the frequency of the common cold in an individual, and three further research analyses have shown that the duration of a common cold can be reduced by regular vitamin C intake by 8% for adults and 14% for children. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. A study conducted in 1992 over a one-week period found that taking 2 grams of vitamin C per day lowered blood histamine levels by 38 percent in healthy adults.

As Vitamin C maintains and aids collagen in the body, a vital connective tissue, it can help you look and feel better. Bear in mind that some people have such bad self-images that they can become full-blown body dysmorphic disorder. The better you feel about your body, the happier you’ll be.

Vitamin C: Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

Suggested RDI varies from 45 to 95 mg/day, but is often ignored and thought outdated. This is because recommended mega-doses go well beyond that figure and recommend between 200mg-2000mg per day. This modern day approach to vitamin C concentrates on the fact that like other primates, humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and therefore require an intake parallel to that of their biological cousins.

Modern high dosage can also be attributed to a holistic belief that the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C are capable of reducing illness, and therefore vitamin C should be considered a complimentary therapy to modern medicine.

Getting More Vitamin C In Your Diet

As most of us are aware, you can easily up your Vitamin C intake by eating more oranges and other citrus fruit, but if you look for sources like rose hips, guavas and blackcurrants, you’ll be able to eat foods with a much higher dose of Vitamin C. It goes without saying that eating more fruit will help you lose weight. Of course, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables will also help you live more healthily and lose weight. You could even make a high dose vitamin C fruit salad.

If you are unable to take Vitamin C in the form of fruit, you can always buy supplements from your local healthcare practitioner.

Vitamin C: Risk of Overdose

Vitamin C is low in toxicity and therefore humans aren’t likely to accidently overdose. It would take a 150-pound human to consume 1.8 pounds of vitamin C to cause death.


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