On March, 11th 2020, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
When a disease is declared a pandemic, it means it is already spreading at international levels and has spiralled out of control.
An epidemic that has spread to many countries since, the coronavirus has reached more than 150 countries globally. What is this virus and how can Vitamin C help?
What Is COVID-19?
The coronavirus is a virus that causes respiratory problems.
This includes mild flu symptoms to respiratory symptoms similar to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The latest coronavirus, also termed COVID-19, is speculated to have started in Wuhan in December 2019.
Is COVID-19 Dangerous?
The coronavirus is dangerous because it spreads rapidly.
It can transfer through droplets when the infected sneeze or cough. When you are in contact with the droplets, and you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth, you can also be infected. It can higher the risk of spreading. When you have poor immunity, your body can’t fight off the virus. Therefore you might become infected as well.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms usually include fever, soreness, body ache, and cough. In some cases, the patients also experience flu, sore throat and diarrhoea. These symptoms are considered mild.
Some patients don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, older people or people with chronic diseases sometimes have trouble breathing due to respiratory symptoms.
How to Prevent COVID-19
You can lower your risk of getting infected or spreading COVID-19 by doing some preventive measures:
- Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water. If you can’t, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Do this for at least 20 seconds
- Keep your distance of at least one metre from a person who is coughing or sneezing
- Don’t touch your face, especially with dirty hands. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. When contaminated, the virus can get into your body through your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Do social distancing and stay at home when you are sick or not feeling well
- Contact your nearest healthcare provider if you develop COVID-19 symptoms
- Eat supplements and vitamins to boost your immune system
Vitamin C and Supplements as Immunity Boosters
One of the ways to fight the coronavirus is to keep your health at its peak by boosting your immune system.
There are few options to do that, and one of the most effective is to consume Vitamin C.
What Is Vitamin C?
Also known as ascorbic acid, this is a water-soluble vitamin needed in small amounts by the body to maintain your health.
The human body is unable to produce or store this vitamin. Therefore, we need to consume it daily and make it an essential component of our diet.
Vitamin C plays an important role in your body. According to the National Institute of Health, it assists in maintaining the health of skin, cartilage, teeth, bone, and blood vessels.
Its benefits may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
This is a vitamin that’s essential for the development of body functions. It’s more commonly known as a vitamin that is effective in fighting the flu.
Vitamin C Is Much More Than a Flu Supplement
Let’s find out some fantastic facts about Vitamin C.
#1 A Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants in the vitamin can fight free radicals and boost your immune system to lower the risk of chronic diseases.
This water-soluble vitamin can also benefit your skin to produce collagen so that you will feel fresher.
#2 Lowers Hypertension
A study from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2012 showed the effects of Vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure.
#3 Lowers the Risks of Heart Disease and Cancer
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C can reduce the risk of heart disease. Besides that, they can also reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
#4 Vitamin C in Strawberries Is Greater Than in Oranges
Based on a study, a local orange has 51.68mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams. Sunkist, for example, has 85.18mg of the vitamin per 100 grams. Surprisingly, a strawberry has 94mg of this vitamin per 100 grams, making its ascorbic acid content slightly greater than oranges.
#5 The Daily Recommended Dosage Is 45mg, the Equivalent of a 100g Orange
Even though it has a lot of benefits, you need to follow the recommended dosage. Limit consumption to no more than 2000mg per day.
Based on the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, here is a table of the recommended amount of the vitamin based on age, gender and life stage:
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 6 months||40 mg|
|Infants 7–12 months||50 mg|
|Children 1–3 years||15 mg|
|Children 4–8 years||25 mg|
|Children 9–13 years||45 mg|
|Teens 14–18 years (boys)||75 mg|
|Teens 14–18 years (girls)||65 mg|
|Adults (men)||90 mg|
|Adults (women)||75 mg|
|Pregnant teens||80 mg|
|Pregnant women||85 mg|
|Breastfeeding teens||115 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||120 mg|
#6 Overdosing Can Cause Kidney Disease or Skin Problems
Consuming too much of this vitamin can damage the digestive system. Excessive amounts have to be cleared by the body via urine. Digestive problems like diarrhoea and vomiting might happen.
The kidney will also have to work harder to process the high dosage through urine. This can result in kidney stones from the increase in calcium oxalate.
Besides that, if the dosage is incorrect, it can also cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
#7 Humans Get It From Food and Supplements
Some animals, like dogs and cats, can produce their own Vitamin C from glucose through the enzyme process in their livers.
Humans are unable to do the same. Therefore, we need to get it from foods like oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, and kiwis.
#8 Vitamin C Is Known as an Immunity Booster
Vitamin C can protect your immune system and hasten the healing process of flu and fever.
It can fight off viruses and bacteria from free radicals, allowing you to fight off many diseases.
There are a lot of health benefits you can get from consuming it.
People who cannot eat fruits and foods that are high in this vitamin should consider getting supplements. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are under any medication.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin C?
Wonder what some of the benefits of this vitamin are?
It has plenty of benefits. Let’s take a look at them!
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin C is beneficial as its consumption improves cardiovascular health.
It may lower blood pressure in those with and without high blood pressure. A study discovered that in adults with existing high blood pressure, increased intake reduced systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
In addition, another study found that people with the highest concentrations in their blood had a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentrations.
This analysis also suggests significant inverse relationships between dietary Vitamin C intake and the risk of stroke. This means that the more you eat, the lower your risk of stroke.
How Does Vitamin C Help Your Skin?
Another benefit of Vitamin C is that it contributes to skin health. Healthy skin contains large amounts of the vitamin.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that in women aged 40-74, higher intakes of this vitamin were associated with skin ageing.
Other studies also show that less dryness and a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance are linked to high Vitamin C consumption.
As a naturally occurring antioxidant, it keeps the skin healthy by protecting it from oxidative damage caused by the sun and exposure to pollutants like cigarette smoke or the ozone.
Furthermore, it also promotes collagen production, which keeps skin looking plump and youthful. It also prevents it from being dry and wrinkled.
Vitamin C Intake Prevents Scurvy
A lack of Vitamin C in your diet leads to a disease known as scurvy.
Without sufficient Vitamin C, humans lack the nutrients to make building blocks for collagen, which contributes to other problems.
Early symptoms include weakness, feeling tired, and sore arms and legs. Following that, decreased red blood cells, gum disease, changes to hair, and bleeding from the skin may occur.
As scurvy worsens, there can be poor wound healing, personality changes, and finally, death from infection or bleeding.
Scurvy was much more prevalent in the past and has been documented as early as ancient Egypt. It would kill large numbers of people during long-distance sea travels.
During the age of sail, it was assumed that half of the sailors on board would die of scurvy on each trip. Subsequently, citrus fruits high in it were discovered to be effective in treating and preventing scurvy.
Today, scurvy is rare and occurs much more often in the developing world where there is malnutrition.
Treatment involves oral consumption of Vitamin C supplements. A diet with a consistent intake of this nutrient prevents scurvy from occurring.
Promotes Better Memory and Improves Cognitive Function
Vitamin C promotes better memory and fights against dementia.
In 2011, researchers from Lund University found that the vitamin helps combat Alzheimer’s disease. It dissolves the toxic protein that accumulates in the brain with Alzheimer’s.
Usually, Alzheimer’s causes a build-up of plaque that contributes to nerve cell death. The cells that die the fastest when this occurs are the memory cells.
In addition, upon reviewing past studies, researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center discovered that the antioxidants found in Vitamin C were identified as the beneficial compounds in fighting brain oxidation and memory loss.
This article also supports the notion of the link between the vitamin and cognitive functions like memory, lingual skills, calculation, and orientation.
Researchers from Australia found that people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have low levels of this vitamin in their blood.
Some researchers assume that older people who have developed dementia often have difficulty with getting a healthy diet that covers their needs.
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
What are some symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency?
As mentioned earlier, long-term deficiency leads to scurvy.
While this condition is very rare today, our body responds in other ways to a deficiency in the vitamin. Some of these symptoms include:
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) & bleeding gums
- Decreased ability to fight infection and wound-healing rate
- Dry and splitting hair
- Easy bruising
- Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Swollen and painful joints
- Weakened tooth enamel
What Are Some Foods Rich in Vitamin C?
It’s important to have foods rich in Vitamin C in our diet especially because the human body does not produce any of it.
The recommended daily amount as suggested by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) is 105mg and 85mg per day for adult males aged 18 years and above and females aged 19 years and above, respectively.
How much is 90mg of the vitamin? That amount can be roughly found in:
- 8 bananas
- 1 1/3 oranges
- 10 apples
- 1 1/3 kiwi fruits
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 grapefruits
- 1/2 guava
- 1 1/2 mangoes
|Type of Food||Vitamin C Content (mg)|
|Camu Camu Plant||2,000mg|
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Why Is It Recommended to Consume Vitamin C Tablets?
Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms, such as tablets or capsules.
These provide much-needed convenience to people today. It’s not practical for people to consume required servings of fruits and vegetables consistently to ensure sufficient nutrients and mineral consumption.
Supplements and tablets are an effective and safe substitute, thus allowing our bodies to receive what they need on a daily basis.
Supplements typically contain 500-1,000 mg of the vitamin, more than the recommended daily requirement. Side effects usually only occur after an overdose of 2,000 mg.
Looking for safe and affordable Vitamin C supplements? Check out our VitCCare Natural Timed Release Vitamin C with Rosehip and Adrien Gagnon Vitamin C supplements!