Ingredient Spotlight | Vitamin C

What?

Vitamin C, the famous cold cure-all also known as ascorbic acid. It’s a powerful antioxidant and one of the most well known water-soluble vitamins out there. And for good reason. Researchers have found that higher levels of vitamin C in your blood may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health (Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan). It’s an incredibly safe supplement and there are numerous reports in the current medical literature attesting to supra-therapeutic doses, sometimes as high as 50,000-100,000 mg daily. There is very interesting research for Vitamin C being used in treatments for cancer, sepsis and management of the critically ill. More than oranges and lemons, Vitamin C is a powerful piece of a healthy life.

 

Why?

There is evidence that adding supplemental Vitamin C to your diet when you feel like you are getting sick can help reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold and support a healthy immune system. Beyond the help we all expect for the common cold, Vitamin C plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of connective tissue, as well as helping to prevent heart disease and lowering bad cholesterol. There is even conversation around understanding how this crucial vitamin could help with strokes, cancer, cardiovascular and eye health.

How much is enough Vitamin C? Well since it’s water-soluble, the numbers can fluctuate. The upper limit is about 2,000 milligrams a day. However, our recommended daily allowance is only 75-90 milligrams a day. Some researchers have found a sweet spot at 500 milligrams a day.

How do you get to 500 milligrams a day in a healthy way?

Eat your fruits and veggies! Five full servings of fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C get you a long way. Then you can supplement in various ways (either through an oral supplement or perhaps an IV!). A word of caution: Avoid attempting taking 500mg orally all at once as it might cause an upset stomach. In fact, IV vitamin C can be more effective than oral vitamin C because it’s a direct delivery to cells, bypassing GI absorption and metabolism by your liver. A lot of oral vitamin C gets lost in your urine, making for expensive pee.



 

Where?

Where can you find Vitamin C?

The obvious place is citrus fruits including lemons, limes, and oranges, and you will also find Vitamin C in apples, asparagus, berries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, cauliflower, kiwi, fortified foods (such as breads, grains and cereal), dark leafy greens including kale and spinach, peppers , potatoes, and tomatoes. Red bell peppers in particular are actually among the highest per-serving vitamin C content. Whew! You really can find Vitamin C in a lot of food. While these are all great sources, whenever you feel like you need an extra boost, don’t hesitate to stop by Onus IV!