Even when you were a child, chances are your parents reminded you to take your vitamins regularly. They even emphasised regular consumption of vitamin C as it is known to ward off childhood ailments, particularly the common cold.
With its massive popularity and health benefits, vitamin C is not just for children. Just like other vitamins, it is one of your body’s must-haves. Let us review this supplement classic and get the lowdown on what it is and what it can do for your overall health.
Vitamin C Defined
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and has multiple functions as a coenzyme. It is involved in the formation and maintenance of collagen. Collagen is a protein and an important component of skin, ligaments and bones.
The primary form of vitamin C used in supplements is synthetic ascorbic acid. Other forms include buffered vitamin C and mineral ascorbates, such as calcium and magnesium ascorbate. Natural supplemental form of vitamin C is supplied by rose hips and is more expensive compared to the popular synthetic form.
Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to developing scurvy, a serious disease characterised by weakening of collagen tissues and structures. Excessive intake of vitamin C (more than three grams daily), has been associated with potential minor side effects. Among these are headache, increased urination, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea.
Mega-dosing of vitamin C is commonly practised by those wishing to derive potential health benefits. When dosages of vitamin C are ingested at 1,000 mg or lower at a time, or taken with meals, the potential for gastrointestinal upset is usually avoided.
Vitamin C Benefits
Recent research has suggested vitamin C’s role in offering certain health benefits:
1. Stress—vitamin C is beneficial to people whose immune systems were weakened due to stress—a prevalent condition in today’s fast-paced societies. In terms of athletics, an example would be skiers, marathon runners and soldiers in sub-arctic exercises. Because it is one of the nutrients which is sensitive to stress, it makes it an ideal booster for overall health.
2. Colds—contrary to popular belief, vitamin C may not be a cure for the common cold. However, some studies indicate taking vitamin C for colds and flu prevents and reduces more serious complications such as pneumonia and lung infections.
3. Stroke—a study made by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests a 42% lower risk of stroke among people with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood. The key here is to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Skin aging—vitamin C affects cells on the inside and the outside of the body. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a higher intake of vitamin C were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin and a better skin aging appearance.
Other Benefits of Vitamin C
Aside from those previously mentioned, vitamin C also promotes healthy capillaries, gums and teeth; aids in intestinal iron absorption; blocks the production of carcinogens; prevents the oxidation of folacin; helps heal wounds and protects cells from free radical damage.
As with other antioxidants, vitamin C may play an important role in the prevention and correction of dietary-born degenerative diseases. For athletes, these functions of vitamin C are very important, especially as an antioxidant and collagen tissue formation and maintenance. Studies have also indicated vitamin C’s role in increasing muscular strength, reducing blood lactate levels and sparing glycogen. Endurance athletes need higher amounts of this and other antioxidants due to their increase oxidative stress.
As these facts can attest, vitamin C is not merely for treating the common cold. It is that and so much more. Our parents and teachers are both spot on in recommending vitamin C as a supplement which we must prioritise.
Amino Z Products With Vitamin C
Here are some of the Amino Z products with Vitamin C which are worth checking out:
Blackmores Bio C Chewable 50 Tablets
Blackmores Bio C Powder 125G
Swisse Children’s Ultivite 120 Tablets
Swisse Women’s Ultivite F1 120 Tablets
Nutra-Life Vitamin C Plus 1000mg 180 Tablets