It is no new thing that Vitamin C, also called as corbic acid, makes headlines in the health media for its diverse health benefits. Not all reported health benefits of Vitamin C have scientific backing. But this does not take away the fact that this water-soluble vitamin is a wonderful natural way to boost your overall health. Moreover, many studies are underway evaluating the truth behind such claims. Interestingly, many results are favorable. Explore more here.
A Quick Overview of Vitamin C, Functions in The Body and Natural Sources
It is a water-soluble vitamin that humans cannot make on their own. They need to take it from other sources. It is a powerful antioxidant and has a prominent role in many body functions. For example, production of brain chemicals and structural protein collagen, metabolism, and absorption of iron.
For an American, common sources are citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes. Moreover, you can get enough of it from red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe. It is also available as a dietary supplement and is a common ingredient in many foods, drinks, and cosmetics.
In Depth: Know the Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Most of the health benefits of Vitamin C are due to the antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties. Learn in detail below.
Vitamin C Is a Powerful Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a chemical that acts against the harmful chemicals in the body called free radicals. The free radicals have been linked to many diseases such as cancer, heart disorders, and joint conditions. Indirectly, it helps to restore the antioxidant property of Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin.
When your body’s protecting cells fight against an invading microorganism or allergy-causing chemicals, they release free radicals. Vitamin C helps to blunt the negative health effects of these free radicals. Consequently, you may get a lowered blood pressure, an optimum level of good cholesterol and a healthy body.
If you are a smoker, you will have more of these toxic chemicals in your system. Thus, make sure to take enough of it if you smoke. That way, you may reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Moreover, your eyes are one of the major targets of the free radicals that can damage the lens tissues and other parts of the eye. Thus, Vitamin C may provide protection against the two leading causes of blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Experts also believe high doses might prevent the damages to the retina as well.
Vitamin C Is an Immune System Booster
No doubt, Vitamin C is one of the best when it comes to enhancing your body’s ability to fight against pathogens. That said, a higher intake might make you less prone to catch an infection. For the same reason, it may also reduce the duration of a cold. While there is not compelling evidence that it prevents or cures diseases including common colds, increasing the intake during the period of illness might be a healthy idea.
Studies suggest Vitamin C increases the number of the white blood cells, the chief infection-fighting cells in the body.
How Much To Take
According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, the recommended dose is:
- Men above 18 years, 90 milligrams daily.
- Women above 18 years, 75 milligrams daily.
- Pregnant women above 18 years, 85 milligrams daily.
- Breastfeeding women above 18 years, 120 milligrams daily.
Note that your requirement may be different. Many factors determine this, such as age, weight, metabolism, medical condition and others.
In fact, many experts believe the daily recommended dose should be increased to meet the needs of a specific group of people like smokers or those under an extreme physical stress.
The maximum daily dose is 2,000 milligrams daily in men or women above 18 years old. Talk to your doctor if you have any concern on this. Based on their clinical experience, some doctors may prescribe a higher dose.
Vitamin C might reduce the risk of:
- For example, lung, breast, colon or rectum, stomach, oral cavity, larynx or pharynx, and esophagus cancers.
- Such as common cold, pneumonia, and other lung infections.
- Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) stroke and abnormal heartbeats. A few studies have found that it may also help to lower blood pressure. Nonetheless, more studies in the future only can provide a conclusive result.
- Eye disease like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) in pregnant women and elderly.
- Eye complications in the patients with diabetes.
- While this has not been completely approved by the studies, you may use creams with 3-10% vitamin C to improve the skin appearance.
What You Should Know
Many health benefits of Vitamin C are well documented. Therefore, for a healthy body, make sure to get your daily dose.
Several studies suggest naturally derived Vitamin C may be more beneficial than the supplements. Thus, you should focus more on getting enough of it from the diet.
While vitamins are a great way to maintain health, they cannot replace prescription medications. For this reason, it is always a good idea to make proper research about the supplement you are thinking to take.
If you have been taking other medications or have a serious condition, consult your doctor before taking any supplement. That way, you can cut down your risk of potentially serious interactions and their complications.
Want To Know More?
To learn more about the health benefits of Vitamin C, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.