Vitamin C Benefits and Side Effects
The most common of the vitamin c benefits and side effects is that it’s well known that it helps to fight off colds and flu, vitamin C deficiency usually making one more vulnerable to such illnesses. Vitamin C side effects actually inhibit the formation of histamine and thus help to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms.
Also, because of its role in proper immune system function, vitamin c benefits and side effects include improving resistance to all viral infections and diseases.
One of the more controversial vitamin c benefits and side effects is the relationship between vitamin C and cancer in its action as a powerful anti-carcinogen antioxidant, regarded by some as the most powerful anti-carcinogenic nutrient. It appears to prevent the formation of the carcinogen nitrosamine, which is derived from tobacco and smoked or cured meats.
Further suggested vitamin c benefits and side effects include aiding the prevention of degenerative diseases like cancer (as mentioned above), heart disease, and with certain carotenoids can protect against cataracts and slow their growth, as well as decreasing the risk of glaucoma.
Other vitamin c benefits and side effects include inhibiting fats in the blood from forming atherosclerotic plaque and subsequent hardening of the arteries. Vitamin C supplements can stop the oxidation of lipoproteins and raises “good” HDL cholesterol, which prevents the build up of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the arteries.
When losing weight, vitamin C benefits by helping to rid the body of toxic free radicals released when fat is metabolized. Additional vitamin c benefits and side effects include helping maintain healthy gums, and the healing of burns and wounds.
Vitamin C Facts
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, not able to be stored by the body, needing to be regularly replenished through the diet to avoid depletion and deficiency symptoms. Vitamin C is probably the most discussed and controversial of the vitamins.
Vitamin C is vital for proper immune system function. It is quickly depleted by the body’s reaction to infection and inflammation. It is central to the formation of collagen, the protein used to produce connective tissue, bone, cartilage, and scar tissue.
Vitamin C side effects enable healthy cell development, tissue growth and repair, enhances the bio-availability of iron and helps calcium absorption, fortifies capillary walls helping to prevent bruising and blood clotting.
It helps to support the adrenal glands which contain more vitamin C than any other part of the body. It is important for the formation of neurotransmitters, carnitine, steroid hormones, and converting cholesterol to bile.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Factors that may increase vitamin C deficiency include alcohol consumption, smoking, infections, strenuous exercise, aspirin, antidepressants, analgesics, steroids, and eating too much over cooked or processed food.
Vitamin C deficiency, although rare, can lead to a condition called scurvy (traditionally related to vitamin C deficiency), the signs of which are bleeding gums and tooth loss, poor wound healing, joint pain, fatigue, poor digestion, bronchial infection and colds, bruising, and edema. Scurvy can be effectively remedied by intake of vitamin C food high in vitamin C source.
Vitamin C Overdose and Toxicity
Recommended daily allowance (minimum daily dosage to ward off serious vitamin C deficiency) RDA vitamin C dosage is 60 mg, although 500 mg is the vitamin C doseage most commonly used in vitamin c supplements.
Vitamin C supplements should be taken as a complex including bioflavoniods like quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin. Bioflavonoids are vital for the absorption of vitamin C, enhancing and prolonging its activity.
Even a very high vitamin C overdose of over 10,000 mg for extended periods of time are usually well tolerated. Extreme vitamin C overdose can cause gastrointestinal discomfort; some people may experience this at 1,000 mg while others can easily cope with up to 25,000 mg per day. There is no established level of vitamin c toxicity at present.
Vitamin C Food Sources
Here are examples of where to find animal vitamin C foods and good plant vitamin C sources:
Animal vitamin C foods : Liver, beef, pork, and shellfish deliver vitamin C to the diet, but are fairly poor vitamin C foods.
Plant vitamin C sources : Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sweet green or red peppers, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower.
Enjoy the healthy vitamin c benefits and side effects by incorporating plenty of these foods into your daily diet.