Vitamin C is essential to human health. There are only a few species on the planet which do not make their own vitamin C and humans are among them. Therefore, it is vital that we get it from our diet.
Naturally occurring vitamin C (such as that found in fruits and vegetables) is very sensitive to light, heat and oxidation, meaning as much as 90% can be lost in processing.
Health benefits of Vitamin C
The health benefits of vitamin C are wide-ranging and include:
- Supporting the immune system. It is an immuno stimulant and a natural antihistamine, which may aid in relieving upper respiratory tract infections, cold and flus.
- Supporting nerve transmission and aiding brain and nerve function.
- Assisting in the production of collagen. This makes vitamin C important in wound healing and connective tissue health.
- Giving an antioxidant boost.
- Potentially aiding the growth of bones and teeth, diabetes management and recovery from iron deficiency anaemia.
Vitamin C comes as tablets, capsules and powders. Some of these are esterified (time-released). The actual form of vitamin C varies: usually it comes as ascorbic acid but it is also found in buffered forms such as sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium ascorbate. These buffered forms are usually gentler on the stomach for those sensitive to acid content.
Bioflavanoids are common additives that may increase vitamin C absorption by up to 35%.
Vitamin C comes in water and fat soluble varieties. The fat soluble vitamin C forms are (in some cases) more easily absorbed. These include ascorbyl palmitate and liposomal vitamin C, which may be of higher value than high doses and intravenous vitamin C as smaller doses may be used reducing the risk of digestive upset.
Commonsense Organics stocks a variety of vitamin C, come and talk to our health staff in-store.
How do I use it?
The amount of vitamin C an individual needs varies greatly and there is much debate around the issue. It varies from as little as 60mg to as much as 9g per day for a healthy adult.
Cautions or contraindications
Vitamin C is safe for most people. It is safe during pregnancy and children may take it at a lower dose (ask your health practitioner for suitable dosages). Excessive use of vitamin C may cause loose bowels and sudden abstinence of vitamin C may cause rebound scurvy. Neither of these conditions are dangerous.
Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron and decreases the absorption of copper.
Please note it may interfere with blood tests for vitamin B12.
Speak to one of our health staff for more information.
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Braun, L. & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs and natural supplements: An evidence-based guide (3rd ed.)
Osiecki, H. (2002). The Nutrient Bible.
Murray, M.T. (1996). Encyclopedia of nutritional supplements.
Please note that while we take care in producing this guide, Commonsense Organics accepts no liability for any error or omission in the information provided.