Vitamin C - how it works, where it occurs, contraindications

Vitamin C - how it works, where it occurs, contraindications

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an integral part of every diet. Unlike many animals, the human body is not able to produce this precious substance on its own, so it must be supplied with food or dietary supplements. Although it is most often consumed during a cold, few people are aware of its other health-promoting properties. And there are many of them.

Vitamin C - what is it responsible for?

Ascorbic acid has a huge impact on the body, and its deficiency is very serious. Its presence is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, responsible for the proper condition of the connective tissue. We owe to it the elasticity and resilience of the skin, cartilage and muscles. It takes care of the musculoskeletal system, ensuring our fitness for many years.

Vitamin C influences neurotransmitters, thus being a specific stabilizer of the psyche. This is why its supplementation is recommended for people struggling with mood swings, depression or even depressive states. It helps to soothe the mind and significantly improve mood.

Some substances, such as iron, require the presence of vitamin C in order to work properly. It is responsible for its correct assimilation and increases the effectiveness of dietary supplements. It is also an activator of 8 enzymes involved in the synthesis of adrenaline and carnitine, among others.

Vitamin C - what effect does it have on the body?

Vitamin C is a substance well known to the medical profession. When we catch a cold, it is often the first thing we think about. It acts on the immune system, increasing resistance and minimising the chance of infection. Therefore, its appropriate level is particularly important in autumn and winter periods, when the risk of infection significantly increases.

If the first symptoms have already appeared, vitamin C can also bring relief. By stimulating the immune system, it helps to fight the disease and shortens its duration. Increasing the activity of white blood cells and interferon protects against further colds, allowing us to enjoy good health.

However, these are not the only effects we can expect from this substance. What does vitamin C affect?

  • slowing down ageing - vitamin C is one of the strongest and best-performing antioxidants. It minimises the negative effect of free radicals on the body, thanks to which the skin becomes supple and full, and the formation of wrinkles is significantly reduced. The beneficial properties of vitamin C also benefit the internal organs, which are more resistant to diseases.
  • preservation of dental health - the substance provides protection against caries, and also strengthens gums and teeth
  • accelerated wound healing - vitamin C improves epidermal repair, so its supplementation may prove helpful in the case of cuts and damage to the skin
  • protection against UV radiation - it is a specific barrier against the harmful effects of the sun, delaying skin ageing and protecting it against diseases

With what is vitamin C best absorbed?

The bioavailability of vitamin C is influenced by its bioavailability. This term means what proportion of the substance enters the general circulation and how quickly this process takes place. The absorbability of a vitamin depends primarily on the form in which it is taken. Vitamin C in the form of mineral ascorbates is considered to have one of the highest rates. These will primarily be sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate.

Vitamin C - which is the best?

Although the supply of substances should take place through varied meals, not every diet covers the daily requirement. In addition, the doses needed may increase as a result of illness or weakness. In this case, it is good to think about additional supplementation, which will supplement deficiencies. Which vitamin C is the right choice?

The answer to this question will depend primarily on the individual and their predispositions. The effectiveness of vitamin C is determined mainly by its assimilability, so it is worth reaching for a substance in the form of ascorbates. In addition, they are more delicate for the stomach, which makes them perfect for people struggling with gastrointestinal problems.

Liposomal vitamin C is also popular. Its encapsulation can increase absorption by up to several percent, so it has become one of the more frequent choices of consumers.

Vitamin C deficiency - symptoms

The symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are noticeable relatively quickly and should never be ignored. Although the initial symptoms may seem harmless, maintaining low levels of the substance for a long time significantly reduces the comfort of life. The first signs appear already after about a month of taking too low a dose of the vitamin. What are the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?

  • weakening of tissues due to reduced collagen synthesis
  • slowed wound healing
  • excessive keratosis of the epidermis
  • muscle and joint pains
  • weakening of
  • lack of appetite
  • deterioration of mood, depressive states
  • scurvy

Why take vitamin C?

Vitamin C supplements are a popular solution for people whose diet does not cover the daily requirement of this valuable substance. It is also used by those who want to maintain a fresh and young appearance for many years, and therefore benefit from its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C deficiency can be caused by stimulants, such as cigarettes, as well as by frequent drinking of coffee and tea. In order to avoid deficiencies, we can reach for vitamin C in the form of a preparation, which will take care of our well-being and proper functioning of the organism. 

Vitamin C - where does it occur?

Vitamin C intake should take place through a balanced and varied diet. The substance coming from food is characterised by high assimilability, so we do not have to worry about its effects. Where to take vitamin C from?

  • rosehips
  • blackcurrants
  • kiwi
  • strawberries
  • red currants
  • sauerkraut
  • red pepper
  • broccoli

It should be remembered, however, that vegetables and fruit lose a lot of their properties through heat treatment. In order to retain as many vitamins and minerals as possible in the product, it is worthwhile, for example, to use steam cooking.

Use of vitamin C in cosmetics

The use of vitamin C in medicine does not surprise anyone, as this basic substance has been used to treat many ailments since ancient times. However, its use in the cosmetic sector is becoming increasingly common. It owes its popularity primarily to its antioxidant properties, which every woman desires.

Vitamin C for the face

Vitamin C serum is one of those elements that should not be missing from a mature woman's cosmetics bag. It is a specific antioxidant, which neutralises the effect of free radicals on cells. It prevents their damage and premature death, so we can enjoy a young appearance for many years.

Vitamin C for the face can also be used in the form of a cream. The moisturising formula enriched with the valuable substance restores elasticity and flexibility, regenerating the skin from within. Regular use of products with vitamin C visibly delays the appearance of signs of ageing - wrinkles become filled, and the formation of new cavities is significantly reduced.

Who should take vitamin C?

Vitamin C for children

We should think about vitamin C for children especially during winter and autumn. Increased doses of the substance will increase the immunity of our kid, minimising the risk of infections. Why is it worth giving vitamin C to your kids? The youngest are known for their culinary demands, so they often refuse to eat healthy meals that are rich in this substance. Then, in order to avoid deficiencies, supplementation may prove necessary.

Vitamin C for infants

Infants are particularly vulnerable to vitamin C deficiency. To ensure their proper development, it is good to consider supplementation in such a form that it is both effective and enjoyable for both parties. Certainly we should not reach for tablets. In the case of toddlers the best solution is vitamin C drops, which should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's or pharmacist's recommendations.

Vitamin C during pregnancy

Pregnancy and breastfeeding significantly increase the need for vitamin C. Deficiencies can affect the baby's development, disrupting it and causing health complications in the future. If the diet does not provide an adequate dose of the substance, vitamin C supplements may be necessary.

Vitamin C - how to use it?

Vitamin C powder

L-ascorbic acid in a loose form is the purest version of vitamin C. The simple way of taking it makes the supplement well suited for children and elderly people who do not like swallowing tablets. Assimilability is also not without significance. Vitamin C powder is quickly absorbed, thanks to which its effects are noticeable after just a few applications.

Vitamin C drops

This is the easiest way of administering the substance to infants and small children. Vitamin C in drops can be added to the favourite food or drink, which makes its use in toddlers no longer a problem.

Vitamin C - dosage. How much should the optimal dose be?

How much daily vitamin C should I take to meet my requirements? It is estimated that the dose for an average man is 90 mg/day and for a woman 75 mg/day. The amounts required increase when using certain stimulants, such as cigarettes. Smokers should consume about 35 mg/day more than a normal, non-smoker. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also think about vitamin C supplementation, as their daily requirement can increase by up to 40 mg.

When taking vitamin C in tablets, powder or drops, do not exceed the maximum daily dose. It often happens that the suggested amounts turn out to be too low to have the desired effect. We observe this in particular during a cold, when our body needs a strengthened immunity. In order to use vitamin C safely, it is recommended to take a maximum of 1000 mg/day.

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