What is Vitamin C and What Does It Do?

What is vitamin C? What are the benefits? What fruit and vegetable is it found in? What problems does its deficiency cause and what are the symptoms? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What is vitamin C and what does it do?

Vitamin C , also known as L-ascorbic acid , is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in some foods and also in many forms. Interestingly, unlike many animals, humans cannot synthesize this vitamin – so it is an indispensable and essential vitamin for us.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps replenish other antioxidants in the body. It both increases the absorption of iron and plays a vital role in connective tissue and wound healing. It also delays the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin and body.

At a moderate intake of 30 to 180 mg per day, 70 to 90% of the vitamin is absorbed. When the intake exceeds 1 gram, the absorption drops below 50%. If you are taking supplements, the optimum daily intake is 500mg.

As you will see below, there are many different types of vitamin C:

  1. Ascorbic acid: It is the purest form of vitamin C.
  2. Sodium ascorbate: 1000 mg of this vitamin contains 111 mg of sodium.
  3. Calcium ascorbate: 1000 mg of this vitamin contains 90 to 110 mg of calcium.
  4. Magnesium ascorbate: Daily magnesium intake should not exceed 350 mg.
  5. Potassium ascorbate: Daily potassium intake should not exceed 11 grams.
  6. Manganese ascorbate: Daily manganese intake should not exceed 11 mg.
  7. Zinc ascorbate: Daily zinc intake should not exceed 40 mg.
  8. Molybdenum ascorbate: Daily molybdenum intake should not exceed 2 grams.
  9. Chromium ascorbate: Maximum daily chromium intake has not been determined.

Other than sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate, other forms of vitamin C are more likely to be found in combination with other mineral ascorbates or other minerals.

What is vitamin C deficiency and what are its symptoms?

Vitamin C deficiency , obviously, occurs when the intake of this vitamin is insufficient. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling or bleeding in the gums
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • delayed healing wounds
  • Dry and cracked hair
  • rough and dry skin
  • Nose bleeding
  • weak immunity
  • swollen and painful joints
  • Possible weight gain

Getting enough vitamin C not only prevents these symptoms, but offers numerous other benefits as well. Below, we have listed the wonderful benefits of vitamin C for general health, hair and skin in detail!

What are the health benefits of vitamin C?

Here are the general health benefits of vitamin C, one by one:

1- Improves heart health

According to an American study, vitamin C may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. Multiple cohort studies have shown that higher levels of vitamin C may be linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

More studies note that vitamin C may be just as good for your heart as exercise. Regular intake of vitamin C can inhibit the activity of a protein called endothelin-1 that causes small blood vessels to narrow, which can eventually prevent a heart attack.

However, it can lower your blood pressure and keep your arteries flexible. Vitamin C has also been found to help arteries widen under stress – this improves blood flow and therefore its ability to carry oxygen.

Another study done in India states that fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can prevent heart disease. The study noted that a vegetarian diet rich in vitamin C can reduce cholesterol by 1%. This means that the risk of heart attack is reduced by 2%.

2- Regulates blood pressure levels

High doses of vitamin C can lower blood pressure, according to a report by Johns Hopkins Medicine. This function of vitamin C can be attributed to its physiological and biological effects. It acts as a diuretic and causes the kidneys to excrete more sodium and water from the body. This reduces the pressure on the blood vessel walls.

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Vitamin C also maintains your body’s supply of nitric oxide, a molecule known to relax blood vessels. The blood pressure lowering effect can also be attributed to supplements. Taking a 500mg supplement per day can reduce systolic blood pressure by 4 points and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 points over a 2-month period.

According to another study done in Italy, vitamin C also increases vasodilation (widening of blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure). It can even prevent vasoconstriction.

3- Strengthens the immune system

Vitamin C deficiency reduces the body’s resistance to certain pathogens. According to a study, it stimulates the immune system by increasing the strength and protection of the organism.

In addition to protecting the immune system, it reduces the severity of various allergies and fights infections. It achieves this by increasing T cell proliferation in response to infection.

It has also been found that individuals suffering from wounds can speed up their healing processes with the optimal dose of vitamin C. It was observed that vitamin C improved the quality of newly synthesized collagen, thus accelerating the wound healing process.

Vitamin C has been found to reduce the duration of the common cold, although more research is needed on cold relief.

Related article: What is good for cold?

We do not yet know whether vitamin C can protect against colds, but it definitely reduces the duration of the common cold. Vitamin C may also be a potential treatment for asthma.

4- May help prevent cancer

Numerous laboratory studies have shown that high doses of vitamin C slow the growth of prostate cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer , and other cancer cells. Higher concentrations of vitamin C may aid in cancer treatment.

Intravenous administration of vitamin C to patients with inoperable cancer resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volume without any adverse effects. Ascorbate killed cancer cells as stated in numerous studies

Another report from Cornell University stated that vitamin C stopped aggressive colorectal cancer.

5- Helps in the treatment of osteoarthritis (calcification)

According to the Arthritis Foundation, vitamin C may help prevent some types of arthritis. But too much can make some other forms of the condition worse – which is why finding a balance is so important. Taking the right dosage helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and maintains healthy joints.

Studies also note that people with the lowest levels of vitamin C will be three times more likely to develop inflammatory arthritis. But as we discussed earlier, it is important to take note of the dosage.

Taking more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin C (90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams per day for women) can worsen arthritis symptoms.

6- Contributes to eye health

Evidence suggests that vitamin C may reduce the risk of cataracts. When taken with other essential nutrients, it can prevent age-related macular degeneration and loss of visual acuity.

Related article: What are eye infections?

In fact, people with high vitamin C intakes have a 20% lower risk of cataracts. It also fights oxidative stress by preventing free radicals from causing molecular damage to the lens tissue in the eye.

Vitamin C can also prolong the proper functioning of your retinal cells, according to studies. This vitamin also supports the health of the blood vessels in your eyes.

Vitamin C can also help replenish vitamin E in the eyes, further improving eye health. Regular intake of vitamin C can also help treat uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye).

7- It can treat preeclampsia

According to a study done in America, vitamin C can help treat preeclampsia ( high blood pressure during pregnancy). However, further studies are needed.

Even oxidative stress may be responsible for preeclampsia. Vitamin C can also help prevent this condition, as it helps fight oxidative stress.

8- Protects healthy gums

Vitamin C deficiency can also cause periodontal disease, a serious form of gingivitis. This is because low levels of vitamin C weaken connective tissue and break down capillaries easily.

In fact, an early symptom of vitamin C deficiency is bleeding gums. It is responsible for the health of teeth and gums.

9- Helps to treat allergies

It is important to know that when your body releases histamine, a biochemical, this causes allergies. Intake of vitamin C prevents allergies by reducing histamine release.

According to a study done in Japan, autoimmune disease and related allergies can also be controlled with vitamin C. Vitamin C has also been found to help treat hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis).

Related article: All about autoimmune diseases

10- Relieves dry mouth

Some sources suggest that vitamin C helps prevent or even treat dry mouth. However, there is limited evidence in this regard and further research is needed.

Related article: All about dry mouth

11- Regulates blood sugar level

Regular intake of supplemental vitamin C has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes . Vitamin C may also prevent diabetes-related damage to your blood vessels.

Related article: All about diabetes

A study done in Japan states that diabetes can be controlled with vitamin C therapy. It has been found that this vitamin stimulates the insulin mechanism and thus aids in treatment.

Vitamin C has also been found to lower fasting blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. This was also the case with post-meal blood sugar.

Related article: 25 effective fruits that are good for diabetes

12- Treats viral infections

According to one study, high-dose intravenous vitamin C may be effective in the treatment of allergies. In the past, such vitamin doses were used to treat infections such as measles, herpes, mumps, and viral pneumonia.

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This indicates the effectiveness of vitamin C as an antibiotic. Also, because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it fights harmful free radicals and helps treat viral infections.

It has also been found to help treat mononucleosis (abnormally high proportion of white blood cells that cause glandular fever). Also, as we said before; It also fights free radicals that can lead to mononucleosis.

13- Can prevent scurvy

Although rare in today’s world, scurvy can affect people who do not consume enough vitamin C. Also, side effects of vitamin C are rare, even when taken in high amounts.

In fact, it has been used for this purpose for over 300 years. Sailors on a long voyage would add lemon juice to their meals to prevent scurvy.

Also, scurvy can be prevented with as little as 10 grams of vitamin C daily.

14- Improves lead toxicity

Low levels of vitamin C in the bloodstream are often associated with high lead levels. Regular supplementation of vitamin C has been found to reduce blood lead levels in smokers. Another study also shows that vitamin C can reduce lead toxicity.

Foods rich in vitamin C are safe and help prevent lead poisoning. However, some studies say it may not have any effect on lead toxicity.

15- Struggles with paralysis

Eating foods rich in vitamin C can prevent stroke, and especially hemorrhagic stroke. It can combat stroke by lowering blood pressure. Low levels of vitamin C may also increase the risk of spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage.

Along with iron, vitamin C is thought to help reduce the risk of stroke. Also, according to one study, people with high levels of vitamin C in their blood can reduce their risk of stroke by 42%.

16- Improves your mood

Research on hospitalized patients has proven that adequate amounts of vitamin C can improve mood. Vitamin C has mood-enhancing effects. It has also been found that vitamin C supplementation reduces anxiety in students.

17- May help with weight loss

Getting enough vitamin C increases the oxidation of body fat during exercise. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency can hinder weight and fat loss. It also improves metabolism and this aids weight loss.

Related article: Things to do to lose weight fast

18- Increases energy

Vitamin C has been found to help you overcome the pain barrier and relieve fatigue. Vitamin C supplementation made training of football players about 10% easier and reduced fatigue by up to 55%.

Another study in South Korea found that vitamin C significantly reduced work-related fatigue in healthy workers.

What are the skin benefits of vitamin C?

The benefits of vitamin C extend to the skin. For example, in addition to oral consumption, it is possible to take vitamin C topically (as in a serum) and you can reap its benefits that way. The serum stimulates collagen and protects the skin from other harmful factors such as pollution.

Here are the benefits of vitamin C, substance by substance, for the skin:

1- Heals burns and wounds

Preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin C may improve wound healing and reduce the need for ventilation in patients with severe burns. The antioxidants in vitamin C also help treat burn lesions.

High doses of vitamin C also reduce capillary leakage after burns. It also works wonderfully for healing burns and wounds, as it promotes new tissue growth and skin.

2- Treats sunburn

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C play a role in collagen synthesis and help treat sunburn. Taking vitamin C by mouth or using its topical oil can help heal sunburn.

However, it is important to remember that vitamin C should only be used as a supplement to sunscreen, not a substitute.

Vitamin C has also been found to reduce the effects of UVB-induced erythema (superficial reddening of the skin).

3- Helps treat eczema

A good way to treat eczema is the combination of vitamin C and zinc. Taking 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C and 15 mg of zinc each day could be a potential treatment.

4- Contributes to collagen production

Vitamin C is an essential ingredient for the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, both of which are required to bind collagen-producing molecules. This tightens the skin. Lack of collagen makes the skin dull and lifeless. Collagen rejuvenates the skin from the roots, reduces wrinkles and signs of aging.

5- Improves skin texture

Collagen also provides the structure of blood vessels. Tiny blood vessels under the skin carry oxygen and nutrients that keep the skin healthy. Without enough nutrients, the skin becomes hard and dry. Creams containing vitamin C improve the appearance and texture of the skin.

Vitamin C increases the formation of elastin, which thickens, protects and heals skin cells. The thickening effect helps retain moisture in the skin, increases skin circulation and plumps the skin surface.

6- Protects the skin against discoloration

Vitamin C protects DNA from photochemical reactions that can lead to tumors, skin discoloration, and various skin cancers. It also inhibits the production of pyrimidine dimers, which are the primary cause of melanomas in humans.

Related article: All about melanoma

It lightens dark discolorations such as freckles and age spots on the skin and helps you achieve a younger and smoother skin.

What are the benefits of vitamin C for hair?

Here are the benefits of vitamin C for hair:

1- Supports hair growth

Inadequate intake of vitamin C can be the root cause of a number of problems affecting hair growth. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry hair and split ends. These conditions are unfavorable for the regular growth of hair and eventually cause hair loss.

Related article: All about hair loss

Free radicals are naturally formed when our body converts the food we consume into glucose for energy production. These free radicals damage our hair making it weak, brittle and thin, which in turn interrupts hair growth.

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The antioxidant properties of vitamin C reduce the formation of free radicals and minimize their effects on our body. Having enough vitamin C in our diet is essential for protection against free radicals.

2- It is effective against dandruff problem

Our hair follicles are often clogged due to dandruff and dry, flaky skin. This can damage the hair follicles and also inhibit hair growth.

Vitamin C helps fight bacteria on the scalp. It removes dandruff, helps get rid of the remnants of the follicles and promotes the growth of new hair. It also helps dry and itchy scalps due to its antiviral properties.

3- Prevents premature graying of hair

Vitamin C not only helps to combat hair loss, but also helps to preserve the natural color of the hair by preventing premature aging. However, there is limited research on this.

What are the sources of vitamin C?

There are many foods in your kitchen that are excellent sources of vitamin C. Some of these include:

  • Bell Pepper (120-190mg)
  • Broccoli (132 mg)
  • Lahana (80.4 mg)
  • Papaya (88.3 mg)
  • Strawberry (84.7mg)
  • Cauliflower (127.7mg)
  • Mango (122.3 mg)
  • Pineapple (78.9mg)
  • Silt (112.4mg )
  • Orange (95.8mg)
  • Rosehip (541mg)
  • Stone (137.2 mg).

Is it okay to take vitamin C supplements?

Vitamin C supplements often contain the vitamin in the form of ascorbic acid (which has equivalent bioavailability to ascorbic acid found naturally in foods).

Some popular capsules or tablets of vitamin C include:

  • Polgar C
  • Ester C
  • Redoxon C
  • Ocean C
  • Anway C
  • Sunlife C

Injections of vitamin C in liquid form may have similar benefits. The intravenous vitamin provides a much larger dose than the oral dose and is used as a complementary therapy in patients with skin, immune system and also cancer.

Other forms include drops, crystals, or powder (for the skin). Even a cream of vitamin C can be used for the skin.

Vitamin C often does not have any side effects. However, it is necessary to know how and in what dosage to take it. Therefore, it is beneficial to consult a doctor.

How should vitamin C be taken?

The best way to get vitamin C is to add vitamin-rich foods to your diet. Most fruits and vegetables contain this vitamin. You can eat a normal fruit or vegetable salad and be sure to get the relevant vitamins. Even a glass of juice or smoothie can do wonders.

But if you really don’t have time to prepare yourself a salad, you may want to take a supplement. Depending on the dose, you can take vitamin C supplements with your meals 2 to 3 times a day. You can also take it on an empty stomach, which is when vitamin C is better absorbed, as some studies say.

You should talk to your doctor or nutritionist to determine the right dose for you.

A novelty in medicine is what we now call liposomal vitamin C. Liposomal technology is used to increase the absorption of nutrients. Liposomal offers many advantages over other supplements. The phospholipids it contains form liposomes in the stomach when mixed with water. These liposomes increase the rate of absorption.

How much vitamin C should be taken daily?

For men over the age of 18, the daily recommended amount of vitamin C is 90 mg. For women over 18, it is 75 mg. For pregnant and lactating women over 18 years of age, it is 85 mg and 120 mg, respectively. According to some experts, smokers should add an extra 35mg to their regular intake.

For infants (0 to 12 months), the amount of vitamin C in breast milk is sufficient. For children from 1 to 3 years, it is 15 mg; 4 to 8 years is 25 mg; 9 to 13 years old is 45 mg.

The recommended intake for ages 14 to 18 is 75 mg for boys and 60 mg for girls.

Although these are the recommended daily dose levels, your doctor may recommend a much higher or lower dose for therapeutic purposes.

Are there any side effects or harms of vitamin C?

Vitamin C can cause abdominal cramps, tooth erosion, chest pain, fainting, diarrhea, flushing, headaches , heartburn , nausea, and an inflamed esophagus. If you notice any of the symptoms, you should stop using it and consult your doctor.

High doses of vitamin C can lead to toxicity, causing blood clots, kidney stones , and problems with the digestive system. This is especially true in people with G6PD deficiency, a condition in which red blood cells break down in response to certain medications and infections.

Normal intake of vitamin C is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation . However, it is necessary to be careful and consult a doctor when using more than the recommended dose.

What drugs interact with vitamin C?

Here is a list of drugs that can interact with vitamin C (including supplements):

  • Aspirin
  • Paracetamol
  • barbiturates
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • birth control pills
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Warfarin
  • antasitler
  • certain anti-psychotic drugs, such as fluphenazine

As a result

Although vitamin C deficiency is rare, it in no way means you can ignore the possibility. Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of vitamin C and many other things, you need to make sure you’re getting enough levels and stay healthy.

Also, if you have something to say, please let us know by commenting below.

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