Vitamin C and it´s importance
Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and it is a water-soluble vitamin that we must get through food. It is necessary for the formation of collagen, the body's most important structural protein, which creates long, strong bands throughout the connective tissues.
The formation of certain hormones requires the presence of vitamin C in order to be successful. It also acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidation, an ageing process that we are constantly exposed to.
If you exercise intensively or suffer from a lot of stress, you are exposed to even more of the free radicals that break down our body. Therefore, you may benefit from eating extra antioxidants. In addition, vitamin C also facilitates the uptake of several minerals, including iron.
The recommended daily intake for adults is 75 mg, but the need varies depending on lifestyle. If you are sick, suffering from stress or exercising intensively, you may need extra vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is relatively uncommon nowadays, but too little vitamin C can result in fatigue, a greater risk of infections, muscle weakness and depression.
Vitamin C is primarily found in fruits, berries and juices. In vegetables, it occurs primarily in all types of cabbage, peppers, parsley, broccoli and nettles.
Daily reference intake, DRI of vitamin C:
- Adults: 75 mg/day
- Pregnant women: 85 mg/day
- Nursing women: 100 mg/day
- Children: approx. 45 mg/day
Vitamin C deficiency
The signs of mild vitamin C deficiency include fatigue, irritability, bleeding gums, poorly healing wounds and general weakness. We have some vitamin C reserves, but they become completely empty after 60-100 days. Scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C, can be prevented by taking just 10 mg per day. The need for vitamin C may increase when using birth controls pills, for example, since oral contraception increases the excretion of vitamin C. Smokers have an increased need for vitamin C.
Overdosing on vitamin C
There are no known risks of overdosing on vitamin C Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that if we take in more than we need, it will be excreted from the body through the urine.
More about vitamin C
The idea that large doses of vitamin C can fight colds has been around for a long time, but many controlled studies and trials by different researchers have shown that the effect is much less than what was previously believed. It is claimed that the benefits are so small that a high intake of vitamin C cannot be recommended for preventing or shortening a cold.
Finally, we can say that vitamin C provides effective protection against environmental toxins. For example, this applies to many heavy metals, chemical aerosols, food additives (e.g. nitrite) and air pollutants.