This Is Why You Should Eat Vitamin C! Benefits and Side Effects to boost immunity
On March, 11th 2020, Coronavirus was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This is an important matter because when a health issue is declared as pandemic, it means it is already spreading at international levels and out of control. An epidemic that spread to many countries. As Coronavirus itself already spreads to more than 150 countries in the world.
What is Coronavirus COVID-19 and why eating vitamin C helps?
Coronavirus is a virus that causes respiratory diseases from mild flu symptoms to respiratory problems like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The latest Coronavirus that has become a pandemic is Covid-19 that was started in Wuhan in December 2019.
Is Covid-19 dangerous?
Coronavirus is dangerous because it spreads so fast. It can transfer by droplets from sneezing or coughing from the infected. Or when you are in contact with the droplets, and you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth. It can higher the risk of spreading. When you have a low body immune system, your body can’t fight off the virus. Therefore you might become infected as well.
Covid-19 symptoms are usually fever, sore and body ache, and cough. In some cases, the patients also experienced flu, sore throat until diarrhea. This symptom is considered mild.
Some Covid-19 patients don’t experience any symptoms at all. But in cases for older people or people with chronic diseases, sometimes they have trouble breathing due to the respiratory diseases from Covid-19.
You can lower your risk of getting infected or spreading Covid-19 by doing some preventive measures like this:
- Clean your hands with washing it with soap and water. Or if you can’t, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Do this at least 20 seconds.
- Keep your distance at least 1 meter with a person who is coughing or sneezing
- Don’t touch your face, especially with dirty hands. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Because when contaminated, the virus can get inside through eyes, nose, or mouth and infect your body.
- 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 country health government if you develop COVID-19 symptoms
- Consume supplements and vitamins to boost your immune system
Vitamin C and Supplement as Immunity Booster
One of the ways to fight Coronavirus is to keep our health at its peak by boosting your immune system. There are few options to do that, and the most effective one is to consume Vitamin C.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin needed in small amounts by the body to maintain health. The human body is unable to produce or store any of it. Therefore, we need to consume it daily and it should be an essential component of our diet.
Vit C plays an important role in the body. According to the National Institute of Health, It assists to maintain the health of skin, cartilage, teeth, bone, and blood vessels. In addition, it is also used to protect your body’s cells from damage. It also functions as an antioxidant – nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.
The benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a vitamin that is essential for the development of body function. We might know vitamin C as the vitamin that is effective in fighting off flu.
But did you know vitamin C is much more than that?
Let’s find out some fantastic facts about vitamin C.
#1 Vitamin C is the source of antioxidant
Antioxidants in vitamin C are not just essential to fight free radicals. Still, it can boost your immune system and lower the risk of chronic diseases. This water-soluble vitamin also can benefit your skin to produce collagen from your body so that you will feel fresher.
#2 Vitamin C can lower hypertension
A study from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2012 shows the effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure.
#3 Vitamin C can lower the risk of heart disease and cancer
Antioxidant properties in vitamin C can reduce the risk of heart disease because it can fix the oxidative process. Besides that, antioxidants in vitamin C can also reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
#4 Vitamin C in strawberry is higher than oranges
Based on the study from Sarintan Taringan, a local orange has 51,68mg vitamin C per 100 grams. Sunkist has 85,18mg vitamin C per 100 grams. While strawberry has 94mg vitamin C per 100 gram.
#5 Daily recommendation dosage for vitamin C is 45 mg or equivalent to 100-gram orange
Even though it has a lot of benefits, vitamin C usage has to follow the recommended dosage. You can’t consume more than 2000mg vitamin C per day.
Based on the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, here is a table of the recommended amount of vitamin C 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 Overdoses vitamin C can cause kidney diseases or skin problems
Consuming too much vitamin C can damage the digestive system. Because vitamin C that is not needed will have to be cleared by the body from urine. Digestive problems like diarrhea and vomiting might happen.
The kidney will also have to work harder to process the high dosage vitamin C through urine. This can result in kidney stones from the rise in calcium oxalate.
Besides that, if the dosage is not right, vitamin C can also cause allergic reaction and irritation to the skin.
#7 Humans get vitamin C from food and supplements
Some animals, like dogs and cats, can produce their own vitamin C from glucose through the enzyme process in their liver. While humans can’t produce their own vitamin C. Therefore, human need to get vitamin C from food like orange, broccoli, tomato, strawberry, grapes, and kiwis.
#8 Last but not least, vitamin C is known as the immunity booster
Vitamin C can protect your immune system and can fasten the healing process of flu and fever. Vitamin C can fight off viruses and bacteria from free radicals. Therefore you can fight off a lot of diseases.
There are a lot of health benefits you can get from consuming vitamin C. For people who can’t eat fruits and food that is high in vitamin C; you should consider getting supplements. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are under any medication.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Have you wondered what are some of the benefits Vit C brings to us?
Vitamin C is beneficial as its consumption improves cardiovascular health. It may lower blood pressure in those both with and without high blood pressure. A study discovered that in adults with existing high blood pressure, increased vit C intake reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.85 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.67 mmHg, on average.
In addition, another study found that people with the highest concentrations of vit C in their blood had a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentrations. This meta‐analysis also suggests significant inverse relationships between dietary vitamin C intake, circulating intake, and risk of stroke.
How does Vitamin C help your skin?
Another of vitamin C’s benefits is that it contributes to skin health. Healthy skin contains large amounts of vitamin C. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found among that women aged 40-74, higher intakes were associated with better skin-aging appearance.
Other studies also show that less dryness and a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance are linked to high C consumption. As a naturally-occurring antioxidant, vitamin C keeps 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 and prevents developing dry, wrinkled skin.
Vitamin C intake prevents Scurvy
A lack of vitamin C in the diet leads to a disease known as Scurvy. Without sufficient 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.
Much more prevalent in the past, scurvy has been documented as early as the time of ancient Egypt. It would kill large numbers of people during long distance sea travel. During the age of sail, it was assumed that 50% of sailors would die of scurvy on each trip. Subsequently, citrus fruits high in vitamin C was discovered to be effective in treating and preventing Scurvy.
Today, Scurvy is rare, and occurs much more in the developing world where there is malnutrition. Treatment involves oral consumption of vitamin C supplements. A diet with consistent intake of the nutrient prevents Scurvy from occurring.
Promotes better memory and improves cognitive function
In 2011, researchers from Lund University found that vit C helps combat Alzheimer’s disease. It dissolves the toxic protein that accumulates in the brain with Alzheimer’s. Ordinarily, 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 it is the antioxidants found in vitamin C that were usually identified as the beneficial compounds in fighting brain oxidation and memory loss.
This article also supports the notion of the link between vitamin C 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 the nutrient in their blood. Some researchers assume that older people who have developed dementia often have difficulty with getting a healthy diet that covers their need.
Vitamin C Deficiency
What are some symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?
Vitamin C deficiency shows itself in various ways in our bodies. As mentioned earlier, long term deficiency leads to the condition Scurvy.
While Scurvy is very rare today, our body responds in other ways. 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 Vitamin C rich foods?
It’s important to have Vit C rich foods in our diet, especially since the human body does not produce any of it.
The Recommended Daily Amount as suggested by the Health Promotion Board 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 vitamin C? 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
Here are some foods rich in the vitamin C:
Foods and their Vitamin C content per 100 grams (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy#Diagnosis)
|Item(per 100g)||Vitamin C content(mg)|
Why is consumption of Vitamin C tablets recommended?
Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms, such as tablets or capsules. These provide much needed convenience to people today. It is not practical for people to consume required servings of fruit and vegetable consistently to ensure sufficient nutrients and mineral consumption. Supplements and tablets are a effective and safe substitute, thus allowing our bodies to receive what they need on a daily basis.
Supplements typically contain 500-1000 mg of Vitamin C, more than the recommended daily requirement. Side effects usually only occur after an overdose of 2000 mg.
Looking for safe & affordable vitamin C supplements? Take a look at the one we have below.