When we think of Vitamin C, the thought of oranges and other citrus comes to mind. But what exactly is Vitamin C, what is it used for, and how do we get our daily dose?
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin naturally present in some foods. Primarily, Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (essential for connective tissues in our body), L-carnitine (transfers nutrients to your cell’s mitochondria and is essential for fat burning), and the production of certain neurotransmitters. Additionally, Vitamin C is used in protein metabolism.
Your immune system relies on Vitamin C to function correctly. Your white blood cells have the highest concentration of Vitamin C over any other cells in your body. During illness, when your immune system is working hard, you will require more Vitamin C to create and maintain healthy white blood cells. Vitamin C can help prevent the onset of the common cold and assist with recovery, especially for people in cold environments or those that are under physical stress.
What happens when you are Vitamin C deficient? Deficiency in Vitamin C will start exhibiting symptoms within a month of the deficiency occurring. Symptoms include fatigue, malaise and inflammation and bleeding of the gums. A drop in the production of collagen leads to connective tissues becoming weakened, joint pain can develop, wounds will take longer to heal, skin condition will become poor and hair can become fine and brittle. Vitamin C is essential for healthy white blood cells, so deficiency can lead to an immune system that can’t fight off illness and disease as it should. Pretty serious stuff!
So how can you improve your Vitamin C intake?
Vitamin C is present in high amounts in the following fruit and vegetables:
- Kiwi Fruit
- Brussel Sprouts
Normally, sufficient consumption of such foods would provide you with your recommended daily intake Vitamin C. However, depending on the quality of the food, your gender, age and factors such as your ability to absorb Vitamin C may mean that additional supplementation is required.
To achieve good health, Linus Pauling (an American bio-chemist)recommends regular ingestion of an adequate amount of Vitamin C. He estimates that many people can benefit from ingesting between 1,000mg and 2,000mg of Vitamin C per day. While some people can maintain good health from as little as 250mg per day, some people may require up to 5,000mg per day.
According to Mr Pauling's studies, when the first signs of a cold develop, such as scratchiness in the throat, presence of musous in the nose, muscle pain or general malaise, you should begin a course of vitamin C starting with 1,000 to 2,000mg then repeating with additional dosages of 500 - 1,000mg hourly. You cannot overdose on Vitamin C as any Vitamin C that cannot be absorbed will pass through the bowel.
We stock a range of Vitamin C supplements in different formulations depending on your requirement. Feel free to ask our friendly staff for assistance in selecting the right Vitamin C for you.
In addition to supplements, you will now see Vitamin C added to other products.
This includes products for your skin! Being an anti-oxidant, Vitamin C will protect your skin from ageing through exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Vitamin C boosts collagen production, which will help reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It has been found to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes.
Hydration and moisture can also be improved through the topical use of Vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C can improve healing, which is beneficial for small cuts, abrasions, acne and and other blemishes.
So keep an eye out for topical skincare products that include Vitamin C. One example is Vitamin C Night Serum by Juniper, which is on special this month.
Vitamin C, pretty common but vitally important for your health.