Thanks to our frequent consumption of vitamin C from fruits, vegetables, and fortified cereals, neither sailors nor landlubbers are likely to suffer from scurvy these days. However, this does not imply that everyone in the modern world consumes enough vitamin C. According to the CDC, vitamin C insufficiency is the sixth most common nutritional deficit in the United States, affecting about 6% of the population.
Although humans cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own, most of us can receive enough through our food. The RDA for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult males and 75 milligrams for adult females.
Smokers, the elderly, breastfeeding moms, individuals who eat a restricted variety of foods, and people who have chronic illnesses or absorption problems are all at risk of not obtaining enough vitamin C, therefore nourishmax supplemental vitamin C may be necessary. For example, smokers should consume an extra 35 mg of vitamin C each day. Similarly, some illnesses and medical treatments also deplete vitamin C from the body. In such cases, an IV drip vitamin therapy can be used for a safe non-oral consumption.
Despite the fact that most Americans obtain adequate vitamin C from their diets, millions of people still supplement with multivitamins or vitamin C supplements. Is it important to take additional vitamin C? Is there any benefit to taking more vitamin C? Is it even functional?
It is, in fact, the case. Taking excess vitamin C can have both positive and negative consequences. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of vitamin C.
Advantages of Vitamin C Consumption
Aids in the treatment of the common cold
Vitamin C won’t cure a cold, but it can help to shorten its length and lessen the intensity of its symptoms if taken in advance. (The antihistamine action of vitamin C has been suggested by researchers as a possible explanation for these advantages.)
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that scavenges free radicals directly. It also aids in the regeneration of other antioxidants such as vitamin E and tetrahydrobiopterin in the body. Flavonoids and other polyphenols’ antioxidant effects are boosted by vitamin C. It protects the lungs and host cells from oxidative stress-induced by infections and inflammation, as well as preventing viruses from reproducing.
Increases the immune system’s efficiency
Vitamin C has been shown to improve cellular functioning of the innate and adaptive immune systems, especially in people who are vitamin C deficient.
Vitamin C increases phagocytosis, oxidant production, and microbial death by stimulating neutrophil recruitment to the infection site.
Simultaneously, it protects host tissue from severe injury by increasing neutrophil apoptosis and macrophage clearance… As a result, it is clear that vitamin C is required for the immune system to build and sustain an effective response against infections while minimizing host harm.
Vitamin C insufficiency is common in cancer patients due to disease processes, reduced oral intake, infection, inflammation, and treatment (radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery). As a result, scientists have looked at whether removing vitamin C deficiency may improve cancer outcomes. Vitamin C supplementation has been linked to a lower risk of malignancies such as pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, and prostate cancer.
Disadvantages of Vitamin C Consumption
Accelerating kidney stone formation
Researchers have shown that a high vitamin C intake is linked to an increased risk of kidney stones, at least in men. Men who drank up to 250 mg of vitamin C per day had a 22% higher risk of kidney stones than men who consumed less than the recommended daily allowance of 90 mg.
Not effective in treatment of heart disease
Vitamin C, with its high antioxidant action, has being studied to see if it might help postpone or prevent the onset of illnesses associated to oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C consumption has been related to a lower risk of heart disease in several studies.
Several experimental investigations, however, have failed to establish that vitamin C administration protects against cardiovascular disease or lowers morbidity or death.
Possible Side effects and drug interactions
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is typically considered safe since any unmetabolized portion is eliminated in the urine. Continued high dosages, on the other hand, might induce nausea, heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
Because of its antioxidant action, high doses of vitamin C may interact with other medications. These are some of them:
Statins: Vitamin C, especially when used with niacin or other antioxidants, may decrease the efficacy of these lipid-lowering medicines.
Warfarin: High dosages of supplementary vitamin C have been shown in several case studies to decrease the anticoagulant’s action.
Hormone replacement therapy: In postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy, high-dose supplementary vitamin C has been found to enhance estrogen levels.
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