Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. To remain healthy, your body needs it in an optimal amount. Generally, you can get enough of it through fruits and vegetables. But if you fail to meet the recommended daily amount, you must take a vitamin C supplement. It is because its deficiency can hastily affect your body. Vitamin C deficiency causes a disease called scurvy- a condition in which your gums start to bleed with bruising and rashes over the body.
Daily recommended intake of vitamin C
The daily recommended intake of vitamin C for females is 75mg, whereas for males it is 90mg.
Kids who are aged between 1 to 3 years need 15mg of vitamin C per day. Kids aged between 4 to 8 need 25mg of vitamin C daily.
Adolescents having the ages of 9 to 13 years must get 45mg of ascorbic acid in a day.
Teenagers aged between 14 to 18 years need 65 to 75mg of vitamin C per day.
Pregnant women must consume 85mg of ascorbic acid daily. Breastfeeding women should get 120mg of vitamin C per day.
Types of vitamin C supplements
Generally, there are three types of most commonly used vitamin C supplements. They can be enlisted as
- Ascorbic acid
- Sodium ascorbate
- Calcium ascorbate
Ascorbic acid, also known as L-ascorbate or L-ascorbic, is the purest form of vitamin C. It is readily absorbed in the bloodstream.
Sodium ascorbate is a sodium salt conjugated with ascorbic acid. It is given to patients who cannot tolerate ascorbic acid due to its acidity.
Instead of sodium, this form of vitamin C is conjugated with calcium. Calcium ascorbate is light on the stomach and is tolerated well.
Signs to take vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C deficiency may show many signs and symptoms. Therefore, if you have any of it, you must take a vitamin C supplement soon to get rid of its deficiency.
- Dry wrinkled skin
- Impaired wound healing
- Recurrent infections
- Slow recovery from infections
- Bruising of skin
- Bleeding from gums
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Nose bleeds
- Pain in the legs
- Pain in muscles
- Loss of teeth
- Shortness of breath
- Corkscrew hairs
- Mood changes
If vitamin C deficiency becomes severe, the patient may represent as follows.
- Generalized edema
- Hemolysis- the destruction of red blood cells
- Internal bleeding (sudden and spontaneous)
- Loss of hair
In pregnant women, vitamin C deficiency can lead to problems in fetal mental development.
Taking too much vitamin C
To keep yourself healthy and active, you must take vitamin C. Also you must incorporate it in your daily routine to protect yourself from infections. But you must consume every nutrient in an adequate quantity. Consuming the right amount of vitamin C has amazing benefits for your body. But if you take too much of it, it may result in adverse effects like gastrointestinal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, consuming too much vitamin C can result in too much absorption of iron, which can, in turn, cause hemochromatosis, a condition in which iron deposits around the organs. It is a medical emergency.
Best time to take vitamin C supplement
The best time to take a vitamin C supplement is on an empty stomach. You may take it in the morning or two hours before having the meal. At this time, its absorption is maximum. Therefore, it shows maximum benefits. However, if you feel symptoms like acidity, stomach ache, nausea, or bloating due to taking it on an empty stomach, you can change the time. You can take it after a meal in that case. Moreover, consult with your health care provider to know the right time to take it.
Everyone should consume vitamin C to remain healthy and active. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, your body can not store it. Even if you take it daily, your body keeps the required amount and flushes out the rest. Therefore to prevent its deficiency, you need to take it daily. You can get enough vitamin C from natural sources like oranges, kiwis, strawberries, lemons, spinach, broccoli, kale, and bell peppers. To know the right dose of vitamin C according to your condition and needs, you must consult with a healthcare provider.