All About Vitamins

Vitamin C
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Why vitamin C is good for you

Vitamin C is required to make collagen – the strong connective tissue that holds the skeleton together, attaches muscles to bones, builds strong blood vessels and keeps organs and skin in place. Collagen is the glue that holds the body together and it cannot be made it unless there is enough Vitamin C.

Since collagen is needed to fix damage to the body, it is evident that Vitamin C helps heal wounds of all sorts. Broken bones, sprained joints, cuts, and other injuries heal a lot faster if the body gets plenty of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is also required to manufacture many of the body's hormones.

Vitamin C is one of the body’s top antioxidants. It not only helps to get rid of the free radicals, it also helps the other antioxidants do their work better. Without enough Vitamin C, some other vitamins (ie folic acid) and minerals (ie iron) are not absorbed as well and cannot be used properly.

The immune system requires a lot of Vitamin C to run at peak levels. A person that does not have enough Vitamin C is likely to get sick more often and to stay sick longer.

People with high levels of Vitamin C have lower blood pressure, which makes them less likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

Another name for Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which literally means “acid that prevents scurvy”.

 

Important vitamin C facts

  • Antacids, alcohol, antidepressants, birth control pills and steroids all deplete vitamin C
  • A healthy person’s body contains about 5,000mg of Vitamin C. Excess vitamin C supplements will be excreted only after the saturation point of 5,00mg is reached. During illness or stress, the body draws down on its reserves of Vitamin C and needs them to be very quickly replenished

 

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Groups at risk of vitamin C deficiency

Talk to a medical professional about vitamin C supplements BEFORE taking them.

 

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Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency

Mild vitamin C deficiency will show up with the following symptoms:

  • fatigue and tiring easily
  • appetite loss
  • muscle weakness
  • bruising easily
  • frequent infections


A shortage of vitamin C weakens the walls of blood vessels - they break easily, causing bruising and even nosebleeds.

After several weeks with no vitamin C in the diet, scurvy will develop.

 

Vitamin C and health

Talk to a medical professional about vitamin C supplements BEFORE taking them.

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Vitamin C in food

FOOD AMOUNT
Vitamin C (mg)
Rose hip
100g
1500-2500
Acerola
1 cup
1644
Pepper, yellow bell
1 medium
341
Papaya
1 medium
188
Guava
1 medium
165
Orange juice
1 cup
97
Strawberries
1 cup
85
Orange, navel
1 medium
80
Kiwi fruit
1 medium
75
Rockmelon (cantaloupe)
1 cup
68
Cranberry juice
3/4 cup
67
Broccoli, cooked
1 cup
58
Mango
1 medium
57
Brussels sprouts
½ cup
48
Grapefruit, pink
½ medium
47
Pepper, green bell
85g
45
Honeydew melon
½ cup
42
Grapefruit, white
½ medium
39
Cauliflower, cooked
½ cup
36
Lemon
1 medium
31
Kale, cooked
½ cup
27
Potato, baked
1 medium
26
Tangerine
1 medium
26
Pineapple
1 cup
24
Tomato
1 medium
24
Lime
1 medium
20
Blueberries, fresh
1 cup
19
Cabbage, raw
½ cup
17
Collard greens, cooked
1 cup
15
Banana
1 medium
10
Spinach, cooked
½ cup
9
Turnips, cooked
½ cup
9
Apple
1 medium
8
Carrot
1 medium
7
Peach
1 medium
6

 

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Vitamin C recommended daily intake (RDI)

RDA lifestage age amount
  INFANTS 0-6mths
7-12mths
40mg
50mg
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
4-8yrs
15mg
25mg
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
male: 14-18yrs
female: 14-18yrs
45mg
75mg
65mg
  ADULTS male: 19-50yrs
female: 19-50yrs
90mg
75mg
  SENIORS male: 51+yrs
female: 51+yrs
90mg
75mg
  PREGNANT <18yrs
19-50yrs
80mg
85mg
  LACTATING <18yrs
19-50yrs
115mg
120mg
 
TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT lifestage age amounT
  INFANTS 0-12mths n/a*
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
4-8yrs
400mg
650mg
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
14-18yrs
1200mg
1800mg
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 2000mg
  SENIORS 51+yrs
2000mg
  PREGNANT <18yrs
19-50yrs
1800mg
2000g
  LACTATING <18yrs
19-50yrs
1800mg
2000g
 
TOXIC LEVELS Depends on individual's tolerance - can be >600mg, for some and >25,000mg for others


The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.


* The tolerable upper limit for vitamin C for infants aged 0-12 months has not yet been determined due to a lack of data about the adverse effects in this age group. The only source of vitamin C intake should be from food (breast milk and/or baby formula).

 

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Vitamin C works best with

 

Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for vitamin C

Vitamin C is a relative non-toxic vitamin, except at exceedingly high doses.

Side effects at the high doses (listed above) are:

These side effects normally stop as soon as the high dosage is reduced or stopped.

CAUTION: People with current (or previously diagnosed) kidney stones or kidney disease should NOT take large doses of Vitamin C.



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references

 

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Last reviewed: 1 January 2009 || Last updated: 1 January 2009

 

NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other supplements cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of nutrient supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.

 

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