Vitamin C, known as L-Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbate, is an essential nutrient to the human body that can only be obtained through food consumption or supplementation. It is a water-soluble nutrient that supports normal growth and development as well as aiding your body in the absorption of iron.
With cold and flu season around the corner, you are sure to see a plethora of ads for Vitamin C, but can it really help you avoid colds? What other benefits does Vitamin C afford you? Read on to discover common sources of Vitamin C and how it can boost your health in many ways.
What Are Some Vitamin C Sources?
Vitamin C contains its highest content of bioflavonoids and carotenoids in raw, organic fruits and vegetables such as guava, red bell peppers, broccoli, parsley, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits.
Herbal sources of Vitamin C are also plentiful and can be found in just about everything from alfalfa and burdock to rose hips and yellow dock. It is important to note that most food sources of Vitamin C contain their highest content raw and can lose up to 60% of their Vitamin C content when cooked, pasteurized, processed, frozen, or canned.
How Vitamin C Benefits You
Nothing can ruin a festive holiday mood like a cold. Thanksgiving is this month, so of course you want to give you body the best chance it has to fight off colds before you get together with family and friends. However, Vitamin C can do much more than just fortify the body against the irksome rhinovirus.
Vitamin C is a vital cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions in the body that aid in everything from collagen synthesis and prevention of bleeding from capillaries to tissue repair and wound healing. Common signs of Vitamin C deficiency include: frequent illness, colds, flu or infections, bruising, bleeding gums, and in severe cases, scurvy (ARRRRR!).
Vitamin C is widely recognized for its powerful antioxidant properties that protect the body from oxidative stress that can damage DNA. Similar to other antioxidants, Vitamin C is highly noted for its protective effects on the heart, arteries, and veins. Studies have shown Vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant, can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis by helping to keep arteries and veins flexible and in reducing the risk of plaque build-up.
Many people also rely on Vitamin C to help boost their immune system during cold and flu season; however, studies show that it appears more beneficial as a proactive measure to help protect against immune system deficiencies than as a reactive measure once you have contracted an illness.
Vitamin C can also enhance the health-promoting effects of exercise and minimize exercise-induced oxidative damage in muscle tissue. Studies have shown improved physical endurance of male athletes, reducing blood lactate level and accelerating recovery after exhausting exercise when using Vitamin C.
Vitamin C Dosage
The recommended daily dietary intake of Vitamin C is around 200-250mg per day and the upper limit of no more than 2000mg per day. It is suggested to split the doses throughout the day as this Vitamin is utilized and synthesized by the body quickly.
Places to Buy Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be found in tablet or bulk powder form. As this is a very popular vitamin, there are numerous suppliers both on the internet and in more traditional brick and mortar stores. If you are buying in bulk, here are three options from the web: