Lets talk about vitamin C
I am not much into taking supplements. I know that a lot of people take a multivitamin, and/or especially vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which means that it is actually not stored to any great extent. The most famous water soluble vitamin is vitamin C which is ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is an anti oxidant, it promotes wound healing, it aids in iron absorption, protects cells against damage, and helps with disease risk reduction. When I think of the reason for taking vitamin C the first thing that comes to my mind is to prevent colds. However, apparently, people who take vitamin C, studies have shown that taking vitamin C reduced the duration of colds by about 8% for adults and about 13% for children but does not actually stop a person from getting a cold or change the severity of the symptoms of a cold while you have the cold.
Recommended for males between the age of 19 to 90 is 90mg of vitamin C per day. For females, within the same age range, is 75mg per day. So when you look at these numbers, they actually really don’t appear to be so high. So if you’re eating your fruits and vegetables each day there’s actually really no reason to be taking thousands of mg of vitamin C supplements per day. So for example, if you eat a cup of strawberries you get 98mg of vitamin C. If you eat one orange you get 70mg of vitamin C. One cup of orange juice will give you 120mg of vitamin C. One cup of brussels sprouts is 97mg of vitamin C. One cup of raw green peppers will give you 120mg of vitamin C. So totally doable to meet your daily needed intake of vitamin C.
Now, the one thing that actually does affect the needed intake numbers of required daily intake of vitamin C is for two different groups of people. For those who do intense and strenuous exercise and for those that are ill, smoke, or have physical ailments like serious burns.
The one thing that I have noticed throughout the years of taking on a strenuous exercise routine is that I immediately come down with a virus. The virus drags me down, I stop exercising until I get over the cold, and then I have to start exercising again from scratch. I have always wondered, is there a link between exercise and viruses. And the answer is actually yes! Studies of marathoners have shown that post marathon there is a spike in virus infection, which is the stress response of having such a physical exertion. I actually noticed the same kind of stress response after exams in school, or after travelling. So for those that strenuously exercise the suggestion is actually to take between 500mg to 1500mg of vitamin C in preparation of the increased stress to the body to minimize the resulting virus spike. And the other suggested increase in regards to vitamin C intake is for those that smoke or for those that have to suffer through second hand smoke to minimize the resulting stress on the body. The suggestion is to up the vitamin C intake for females 95mg and males 110mg per day.
The vitamin C intake does not aid in the prevention of illnesses or preventing cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that the increase in vitamin C intake is less than effective in preventing illness, however does effect the duration of a viral infection.
Looking at the vitamin C numbers in fruits and vegetables, it actually really shows that we don’t really need a lot of intake of fruits and vegetables each day to cover our vitamin C requirements.
The big push for vitamin supplements is really questionable. When you think about Flintstones vitamins or gummy vitamins, they are really just pure sugar, just like vitamin enhanced water. So the bottom line is supplementing our way to good health is not the way to go. Minimizing stress, and eating healthy, IS the way to go.
And you can also over supplement vitamin C which can cause issues with other medications as well as cause diarrhea. Good to think about how you intake your vitamin C.
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