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The C word

Updated: May 6, 2020

Vitamin C... Far more than just a cold and flu vitamin

When cold and flu season comes around it is common practice for us to keep vitamin C on hand in case we feel the sniffles coming alone. However, the benefits of taking it far exceed just a go to vitamin when our bodies are feeling a little run down.

Fun Fact – Humans, primates and guinea pigs are the only mammals that cannot synthesis vitamin C. Meaning our bodies are unable to produce vitamin C and we need to get it from food.

Vitamin C plays a vital role in many bodily functions including, but not limited to:

  • Supporting and repairing our immune system

  • Supports growth and development (NB for children)

  • Helps the body absorb iron

  • Protection against cardiovascular disease

  • Skin elasticity and wrinkle prevention

  • Crucial for optimal eye health

  • Essential for the formation of collagen and join health

  • Supports strong healthy hair

  • Bone health

  • Strong Teeth

  • Healing wounds

It is said that higher blood levels of vitamin C can be the ideal marker for overall health. The jury is still out on the exact amount of vitamin C needed for optimal function. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is between 65-90mg however this is insanely low. This is the minimum amount needed in order to prevent scurvy. There is a big difference between the minimal amount required to prevent disease and the amount required for us to function optimally.

Our bodies can also only absorb so much at a time. It is said that we absorb 90% of vitamin C we receive from food and only around 40-60% of vitamin C we get from supplementation. Any excess vitamin C we cannot absorb at the time will be excreted through our urine. For this reason, it is suggested to take smaller doses of vitamin C, 3 times a day instead of a higher dose once off. The exact amount as to how much we need daily varies dramatically from 200mg up to 10 000mg depending on the research. 2000mg is seen as a safe zone.

Vitamin C is used up far more during times of emotional stress, alcohol consumption or smoking. People who are exposed to this on a regular basis should think of increasing their vitamin C intake. Had a big night out with friends? Consume a bit of vitamin C before bed as well as the morning after to help your body fight off the after affects 😊

I personally like to stick to around 1500mg a day (Food and supplements combined). If I am feeling run down and need to give my immune system a bit of a boost, I will increase it to around 4000mg for a couple days then return to normal dose. I also like to stick to a nutrient rich diet to ensure I get a lot of my Vitamin C through whole foods and not only supplementation.

Ensure you are getting adequate hydration throughout the day as some research has shown a possible link between vitamin C and kidney stones if we do not drink enough water to help our kidneys filter it. If you are predisposed to kidney stones it is recommended to keep your daily intake to <1500mg as a precaution.

Please consult with your physician as to the correct intake amount for you and your family.

When we supplement with vitamin C we take it in the form of Ascorbic Acid. When purchasing supplements, always check added ingredients to ensure your supplements are not filled with harmful fillers, colorants, etc.

Examples: Titanium Dioxide, FD&C food colors,etc.

Foods with the highest Vitamin C content

  • Dark leafy greens (Kale, spinach)

  • Citrus fruit (Lemons, oranges, pink grapefruit)

  • Guava

  • Kiwi

  • Pineapple

  • Strawberries

  • Papaya

  • Tomato

  • Broccoli

  • Bell peppers

Curious if your diet is delivering you the vitamins you need to function optimally? Want to incorporate more vitamins and minerals into your life? Contact me and let’s work together to ensure you are getting all the essential vitamin and minerals needed to unleash an UNLIMITED YOU.

Recommended reading:

The Vitamins: Fundamental aspects of health and nutrition by Gerald F Combs

(This is a very in-depth book with a wealth of valuable information however it is not a quick and easy read)

Vitamin G Wellness Blog - A Division of Unlimited You

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