Are You Taking Enough Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a vitamin that the body cannot synthesize, which means it must be sourced elsewhere. It can be obtained from certain foods and from supplements. The body needs vitamin C for different purposes including:
- Making L-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters.
- For the metabolism of protein.
- For making collagen that is part of connective tissues in the body’s organs
- For wound healing
- Functions as an antioxidant and helps in preventing cancer
- Produces tissue and plasma concentrations that are tightly controlled
Recommended Intake of Vitamin C
The Food and Nutrition Board has given a recommendation on the dietary intake of vitamin C. According to this board, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is as follows:
- Ages 0-6 months – 40 mg per day
- Ages 7-12 months – 50 mg per day
- Ages `1-3 years – 15 mg per day
- Ages 4-8 years – 25 mg per day
- Ages 9-13 years – 45 mg per day
- Ages 14-18 – 75 mg per day
- Ages above 19 years – 75 mg per day
Foods that Provide Vitamin C
To meet the recommended intake of vitamin C, there are different foods that you can eat. The best sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. Good sources include citrus fruits, kiwifruit, strawberries, tomatoes, red and green peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts.
Long term storage and cooking can destroy vitamin C. So eating the fruits and vegetables raw is best to preserve the vitamin C. Below is a list that will give you an idea of how much vitamin C you can get from certain foods:
- Red pepper provides 158% of the daily value
- Orange juice provides 155% of the daily value
- One medium orange provides 117% of the daily value
- Grapefruit juice provides 117% of the daily value
- Kiwi fruit provides 107% of the daily value
- Green pepper provides 100% of the daily value
- Broccoli provides 85% of the daily value
- Strawberries provides 82% of the daily value
- Brussels sprouts provides 80% of the daily value
Some people who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables can take dietary supplements of vitamin C. Different supplements contain different forms of vitamin C. Vitamin C may be in the form of ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, xylonite and threonate.
The naturally occurring kind of vitamin C we get from food is ascorbic acid. Some studies say that the bioavailability of vitamin C in supplements depends on the form of vitamin C. Other studies indicate that there is no difference at all in the bioavailability of the different forms of vitamin C.
Whether you source your vitamin C from the foods you eat or from supplements, the important question is “are you getting enough?” If you’re deficient in vitamin C, you can get scurvy. When your body lacks vitamin C, you will most likely notice symptoms like tiredness, malaise and other symptoms associated with flu. If this continues, soon you will have gum inflammation, poor wound healing, petechiae, purpura and ecchymosis of the skin. You might also experience bleeding gums and corkscrew hairs.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com