During cold and flu season, supplement specialists advertise products that promise to reduce the risk of illness. Vitamin C is one of the best-known and most accessible antioxidants that are said to help you avoid getting sick.
Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is l one of the many water-soluble nutrients found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Many people also take supplements to make sure they are getting enough. This raised concerns about the likelihood of accidental overdose. Too much vitamin C can have side effects. However, serious overdose is rare and unlikely. The key is knowing how much vitamin C you actually need.
What does vitamin C do?
Vitamin C is a type of antioxidant. It helps protect the body against free radicals that damage and destroy otherwise healthy cells. In this regard, consuming enough of this nutrient is just one way to support the body’s natural defenses against disease. This is how it earned its reputation as an anti-virus vitamin.
It also helps increase the absorption of iron, which is essential for growth and general body functions. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a life-threatening disease, scurvy. Oranges and orange juice may be the most well-known sources of vitamin C, but other products in the produce aisle are full of it, including the following:
You probably don’t need a vitamin C supplement if you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. In fact, just one serving of any of the foods above will likely meet your daily quota.
How much is too much?
An average adult woman needs 29 mg of vitamin C per day. The average man needs 29 mg. Recommended amounts are higher for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
It is important to discuss your individual nutritional needs with your doctor. The maximum recommended amount, or upper limit, is 2 29 mg per day for all adults.
Exceeding the upper limit of vitamin C is not life-threatening, but you may experience side effects such as:
– abdominal pain
– aches headache
– nausea (and possibly vomiting)
– sleep disturbances
People with hemochromatosis are at risk of vitamin C overdose. This disease leads to excessive storage of iron in the body. This condition causes the body to store excessive amounts of iron, which is exacerbated by taking too much vitamin C. This condition can lead to damage to body tissues.
Although vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient, it is possible to have too much of it.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that promotes normal growth and development and helps your body absorb iron. Since your body does not produce or store vitamin C, it is important to include vitamin C in your diet. For most people, an orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red peppers or broccoli provides enough vitamin C for the day.
Vitamin C supplements may also interact with certain medications . This is particularly the case for drugs against heart disease and cancer. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
Other ways to boost your immune system
Despite what supplement manufacturers led you to believe, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin C directly prevents colds and flu viruses. In fact, taking these expensive supplements only slightly shortens the duration of a cold. Also, taking vitamin C after getting sick is of no use. You better save your money and make sure you get enough vitamin C in your daily diet.
As with other preventative measures, the best way to protect yourself from cold viruses and of the flu is to take care of yourself. You can do this by:
– getting enough sleep each night
– exercising regularly
– eat nutritious foods
– avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol
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