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Origin and Alternate Names:
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in various fruits and vegetables. It was first discovered in the 18th century when sailors realized that consuming citrus fruits helped prevent scurvy during long sea voyages. Ascorbic acid is the most common and active form of Vitamin C, and it plays a pivotal role in numerous physiological processes within the human body.

Benefits of Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a true superhero when it comes to supporting our health and well-being. Here are some of its most remarkable benefits:

  1. Immune System Support: Vitamin C is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. It enhances the production and function of white blood cells, which are the front line defenders of our immune system, helping us fend off infections and illnesses.
  2. Powerful Antioxidant: As a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C combats free radicals that can cause cellular damage and oxidative stress. By neutralizing these harmful molecules, it aids in protecting our cells and tissues from premature aging and various diseases.
  3. Collagen Production: This vitamin is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that provides structure to our skin, bones, tendons, and blood vessels. Adequate Vitamin C intake supports skin elasticity and promotes wound healing.
  4. Heart Health: Vitamin C contributes to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system by improving blood vessel function, reducing blood pressure, and lowering bad cholesterol levels.
  5. Enhanced Iron Absorption: Consuming Vitamin C-rich foods alongside iron sources enhances the absorption of dietary iron, preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
  6. Stress Reduction: High-stress levels can deplete Vitamin C in the body. Consuming adequate amounts can help counteract the negative effects of stress on our immune system.

Side-Effects of Excessive Vitamin C Intake:
While Vitamin C is safe for most people, excessive consumption can lead to certain side effects, including:

  1. Digestive Disturbances: High doses of Vitamin C can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps in some individuals.
  2. Kidney Stones: People with a history of kidney stones should avoid excessive Vitamin C intake, as it can increase the risk of stone formation.
  3. Iron Overload: Consuming very high doses of Vitamin C in supplement form can lead to increased iron absorption, which may be problematic for individuals with certain conditions, such as hemochromatosis.

While Vitamin C is generally safe, there are some contraindications and precautions to consider:

  1. Kidney Disorders: Individuals with kidney problems should consult their healthcare provider before taking Vitamin C supplements, as excessive amounts can strain the kidneys.
  2. G6PD Deficiency: People with G6PD deficiency should avoid high doses of Vitamin C, as it can lead to the breakdown of red blood cells.
  3. Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be sensitive to Vitamin C supplements, experiencing allergic reactions. If you notice any adverse effects, discontinue use and seek medical advice.

Recommended Dosage:
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C varies with age and gender. For most adults, a daily intake of 65-90 milligrams is sufficient to meet their needs. However, during times of illness or stress, some experts suggest higher doses ranging from 250-1000 milligrams per day. It’s best to obtain Vitamin C through a balanced diet, incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

In conclusion, Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that bestows numerous health benefits on our bodies. From bolstering our immune system to supporting heart health and collagen production, its value cannot be overstated. Embrace this superhero vitamin through a balanced diet, and remember, moderation is key when it comes to supplements. Let Vitamin C be your trusted ally in maintaining optimal health and vitality!

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