Benefits of Vitamin C – Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps the body in the formation of tissues and the body’s defense system. Adequate intake of vitamin C can also help protect a person from the disease. However, it doesn’t end there, there are still many benefits of vitamin C for the body that you may not know about. Here’s the full explanation.
The function of vitamin C in the body is quite important, not only for the body but also for the skin. These nutrients play a major role in supporting the immune system and skin health.
Not only that, there are still some benefits of vitamin C for the body that you can get, here are some of them.
1. Helps Manage High Blood Pressure
If you have a history of essential/primary hypertension, try to consume foods or drinks that are rich in vitamin C.
In various studies (which are still limited), it has been shown that consuming vitamin C can help lower blood pressure, including in those with hypertension, where systolic and diastolic pressures drop significantly with the supplementation of vitamin C >= 500 mg/day.
Vitamin C supplements are also known to reduce systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic by 1.7 mmHg.
2. Increases Immunity
The next benefit of vitamin C is to increase immunity, namely by increasing the function of white blood cells (lymphocytes and neutrophils).
In addition to boosting immunity in the body, vitamin C also strengthens the defense of skin epithelial cells. Considering that the function of the skin is quite crucial, namely protecting the body from the air, the environment, bacteria, and other microbes.
And as an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect immune cells from damage caused by free radicals.
3. Prevent the Body from Iron Deficiency
If the body is deficient in iron, iron deficiency anemia will occur, which is a condition in which red blood cells do not have enough iron.
You need to know that red blood cells need iron to bind oxygen and distribute it throughout the body.
So, if there is an iron deficiency, oxygen circulation will be hampered. Well, you can prevent this by meeting your needs for vitamin C, because the process of iron absorption by the body increases with the presence of vitamin C in the digestive tract.
4. Reducing the Risk of Disease
One of the important uses of vitamin C is as a natural antioxidant for the body. Antioxidants will protect various body cells from free radicals.
Without antioxidants, the body’s cells will be more susceptible to mutations or damage that can have harmful effects, such as heart disease and cancer.
Therefore, adequate vitamin C as an antioxidant can help the body reduce the risk of disease.
5. Maintain Skin Firmness
In addition to the body, the benefits of vitamin C can also be felt on the skin. This vitamin can encourage collagen production and protect skin cells from damage.
Collagen is one of the main proteins forming the structure of the skin, where production can decrease due to free radicals from the environment and aging.
Well, the benefit of vitamin C for the skin is that it helps maintain collagen production so that the skin still looks healthy and tight.
6. Lower Cholesterol
The next benefit of vitamin C is quite good for people with high cholesterol.
Research shows that consuming as much as 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day can reduce triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein).
Triglycerides and cholesterol are bad cholesterol that can cause plaque formation in blood vessels and hurt the body.
To avoid this condition, the presence of vitamin C is needed to keep triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels under control.
7. Accelerates the Wound Healing Process
The benefits of vitamin C indirectly play a role in wound healing. This is because the wound-healing process requires a lot of protein, such as collagen.
Now, as previously explained, vitamin C can encourage collagen production so that wounds can heal because new tissue formation is faster.
8. Prevent Uric Acid Disease
Gout can occur when uric acid levels in the blood are high enough. Then the uric acid will form crystals, which cause pain in the joints.
Interestingly, the efficacy of vitamin C has the potential to prevent gout. Research shows that taking vitamin C for 30 days can reduce uric acid levels in the blood.
9. Reducing the Risk of Disturbances in the Eyes
The next benefit of vitamin C is eye health. This vitamin can slow down the process of cataracts and macular degeneration (eye disorders due to damage to the part of the retina called the macula).
This is because cataracts and macular degeneration occur due to damage to protein and the extracellular matrix which is rich in collagen so it can be prevented by supplementing with vitamin C.
So it’s not only vitamin A, but you can also optimize your consumption of vitamin C to maintain the health of your eye organs.
Important Reasons to Consume Vitamin C
Humans need to consume vitamin C every day to feel its optimal benefits. Apart from the benefits of vitamin C mentioned above, here are some of the benefits of vitamin C for body health and skin beauty that you need to know:
1. Increases Endurance and Assists in the Recovery Process
Many illnesses, including coughs and colds, can be avoided by consuming enough vitamin C to meet the body’s requirements. The same goes for whether you’re weary or about to engage in physically demanding tasks. Apart from that, vitamin C plays an important role in the absorption of iron from food, helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from various diseases, and helps the wound-healing process.
2. As an Antioxidant
The advantages of vitamin C include antioxidants that aid in defending against damage brought on by dangerous molecules known as free radicals, as well as by toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke. As free radicals build up, the risk of early aging, cancer, and heart disease rises.
3. Caring for Health
Consuming vitamin C is thought to have additional advantages for bones, teeth, and cartilage. Additionally, it can keep the heart and blood arteries healthy, avoiding heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, it’s thought that vitamin C guards against gallstones and cataracts.
4. Collagen Production
In terms of the skin itself, vitamin C’s health advantages aid in the body’s production of collagen, a protein required to reduce wrinkles, facilitate wound healing, slow down aging, and be able to keep, young and brighten the skin.
In other words, vitamin C helps to slow down the aging process of the skin. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the connection between diet and skin aging in 4025 women between the ages of 40 and 74. It was discovered that having more vitamin C in one’s diet reduced the risk of developing skin issues such as wrinkles, dry skin, and skin aging.
5. Coping with skin inflammation
A variety of disorders can cause skin inflammation. such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and acne, which have signs like discomfort, dryness, and itching. Treatments for skin inflammation, therefore, focus on maintaining the epidermal structure of the skin as well as the underlying problem. Nutritional factors like vitamin C, however, are crucial in both areas. Vitamin C is frequently used in anti-inflammatory formulations, even though it has properties that go far beyond its capacity as an inflammatory antioxidant in pathological environments.
The Need to Consume Vitamin C Properly
Natural sources of vitamin C besides oranges, among others, can be obtained from kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, and vegetables, such as broccoli, bell peppers, red chilies, and tomatoes. Meanwhile, as a complement, you can take vitamin C supplements, which can be in the form of chewable vitamin C tablets, tablets dissolved in water, pills, candy, or injections. However, for this supplement, you must follow the correct dosage according to the doctor’s advice.
The recommended dose of vitamin C supplements is 75 to 90 milligrams. Consuming vitamin C at a dose of 500 milligrams per day is considered safe, and sufficient to maintain health. You need to know that if you have an infection or are recovering from surgery, your need for vitamin C will increase because it helps the healing process.
Best Time to Take Vitamin C
Knowing the best time to take vitamin C is very important for optimal benefits and for preventing various health problems.
Each vitamin works differently, depending on a person’s age, gender, and body condition. Some people have special considerations regarding how to drink it and whether or not it is okay to drink it with certain foods.
Experts suggest avoiding supplements altogether and preferring natural sources of certain nutrients in a balanced diet. However, if vitamin C supplements are needed, you will need to fit them into your daily schedule. To find out when is the best time to take vitamin C, you must first know the properties of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble type of vitamin and is best absorbed on an empty stomach, so the best time to take vitamin C is in the morning, 30 minutes before eating, or two hours after eating. The body will absorb the necessary vitamins and excrete the remainder through the urine. Because it is not stored in the body, you should only consume enough vitamin C.
Is it Safe to Take Vitamin C Every Day?
The consumption of vitamin C is very beneficial for the body. Consuming more of the vitamin is said to increase blood antioxidant levels by up to 30 percent.
In addition, consuming vitamin C is also beneficial for people with high blood pressure. It is stated that regular consumption of these vitamins can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, for example, or heart disease.
Knowing these benefits, is it okay to take vitamin C supplements every day? Vitamin C supplements are safe and good for consumption every day, especially for those of you who are often exposed to pollution or cigarette smoke.
In addition, those of you who are suffering from infections, such as influenza and strep throat, also need to consume vitamin C so that the immune system can increase and function optimally. In this way, the disease can be cured soon.
Safe Limits of Consuming Vitamin C
To avoid the risk of side effects, it is important to know the daily dose of vitamin C.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily dose of vitamin C based on age is as follows:
- Ages 0–6 months: 40 milligrams.
- Ages 7–12 months: 50 milligrams.
- Ages 1–3 years: 15 milligrams.
- Ages 4–8 years: 25 milligrams.
- Ages 9–13 years: 45 milligrams.
- Boys age 14–18: 75 milligrams.
- Women ages 14–18: 65 milligrams.
- Adult men: 90 milligrams.
- Adult women: 75 milligrams.
- Pregnant women: 80–85 milligrams.
- Breastfeeding women: 115–120 milligrams.
Apart from that, you can also consult a doctor regarding the dosage of vitamin C that suits your needs based on your body condition.
Side Effects of Excess Vitamin C
Even though it is safe, the amount of vitamin C consumed daily must be monitored.
If it is excessive, various side effects that are detrimental to health may appear. The following are some of the side effects of excess consumption of vitamin C:
1. Digestive Problems
The effects that most often arise from excess vitamin C are digestive problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Not only that but consuming excess amounts of vitamin C can also cause pain in the pit of the stomach due to stomach acid disorders. This is because these vitamins are acidic.
2. Kidney Problems
Most people who consume vitamin C may experience kidney side effects. This is because vitamin C is not absorbed by the body and will be excreted through the kidneys. Consumption of more than 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day can be a risk factor for kidney stone formation.
3. Excess Iron
The fact is, iron absorption can be increased by up to 67 percent by taking a 100-milligram vitamin C supplement with food.
However, in people who are at risk of iron accumulation, such as hemochromatosis, these benefits can be detrimental. Excess iron can cause various disorders in the body, including damage to the heart, liver, and nerves.
However, the risk of this condition is minimal if you do not have risk factors for iron accumulation.
4. Nutrition Imbalance
Excess consumption of vitamin C reduces levels of vitamin B12 and copper in the body. Both of these compounds are vitamins and minerals, which are also important for various vital organ functions.
5. Triggers Osteophytes
Excess levels of vitamin C in the body can increase the risk of forming osteophytes, or bone spurs, which can trigger pain.
Drug Interactions of Vitamin C
Side effects of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) include allergic reactions, joint pain, and an increased risk of kidney stone formation. One of the drug interactions with amphetamine is a decrease in amphetamine levels in the blood.
Side effects of vitamin C are signs and symptoms of allergic reactions such as urticaria, shortness of breath, or angioedema, up to anaphylaxis. Other side effects that may occur due to the use of vitamin C are:
- Pain: joint pain, severe pain in the waist or back, burning sensation in the chest, heartburn, stomach pain
- Weakness or feeling overly tired
- Weight loss
- Urological side effects: kidney stones, hematuria
Vitamin C may interact with amphetamine and similar drugs such as dextroamphetamine or benzphetamine, as well as with deferoxamine. Vitamin C reduces the blood levels of amphetamine and similar drugs, reducing their effectiveness.
High doses of vitamin C will increase iron levels in patients receiving deferoxamine. Use of high doses of vitamin C (more than 200 mg/day) or long-term use has been reported to cause left ventricular dysfunction. Avoid using high doses of vitamin C in patients with heart failure receiving deferoxamine. Perform clinical monitoring of the patient’s cardiac function in patients receiving both drugs concurrently.