Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. A water-soluble vitamin and poewrfull antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.
Vitamin C benefits
Lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold.
Support healthy immune function.
Decrease total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Helps to repair and regenerate tissues.
Protect against heart disease.
Aid in the absorption of iron.
Prevent scurvy( fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, and leg rashes).
Delay or prevent cataracts.
Research indicates that vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain forms of cancer).
Signs of a Vitamin C deficiency.
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, and leg rashes. Prolonged deficiency can cause scurvy, a rare but potentially severe illness.
Risks associated with too much vitamin C.
Side effects are rarely reported, but include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. For most healthy individuals, the body can only hold and use about 200-250 mg of vitamin C a day, and any excess is lost though urine. At times of illness, during recovery from injury, or under conditions of increased oxidative stress (including smoking), the body can use greater amounts. High doses of vitamin C (greater than 2,000 mg/day) may contribute to the formation of Kidney stones, as well as cause severe diarrhea, nausea, and gastritis.
Other special considerations.
Adverse affects may occur between vitamin C and anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin), decreasing their action.
Nicotine products, oral contraceptives/estrogens, tetracyclines, barbiturates, and aspirin may decrease levels of vitamin C.
Vitamin C may increase absorption of iron.