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Vitamin C



Most people are either currently supplementing their diets, or have in the past, with vitamin C. What does vitamin C do for us and how much should we take? Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, is used in the formation of collagen, a protein that provides the structural material of bones, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue. Vitamin C is also important in our bodies healing process. Taking vitamin C before a workout may reduce the muscle soreness following the workout. So you can see why vitamin C is important in working out! Many animals have an enzyme called L-gulonolactone oxidase, which is used to manufacture vitamin C. Unfortunately, humans don't have that enzyme, so we must rely on our diet for all of our vitamin C intake.

So how much should we take? The suggested recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 60mg, however, a mega dose of 1000mg per day is sometimes suggested. Taking too much vitamin C usually has no adverse affects, as it is water soluble and excess dosages are rapidly excreted. People taking over 10 grams per day (that's 10,000mg) may experience diarrhea, but that would be an extremely high dosage. Synthetic vitamin C can be absorbed as easily as the vitamin C found in food, so there is no problem in taking a vitamin C supplement. Studies show that a 500mg dose led to a greater uptake of vitamin C than a 250mg dose, but a 1,000 - 2,000mg dose did not. So we suggest you take 500mg under normal conditions.

Some factors that affect vitamin C levels in our bodies: Vitamin C isn't always absorbed at the same rate. Sometimes you need more, sometimes you need less.

  • When you are sick, your body will uptake more vitamin C, as it uses it for the healing process, so you should increase your dosage.

  • Aspirin interferes with the retention in your body.

  • Smokers, people who drink alcohol and women on contraceptive drugs need more vitamin C. - Older people have lower levels of vitamin C than the young.

  • Females generally have higher vitamin C levels than males.

  • Diabetics have difficulty absorbing vitamin C

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