Vitamin C or often called ascorbic acid is a type of nutrient that is soluble in water and is not produced by the body. Sources of vitamin C can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, or if necessary from vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C is needed for the development and maintaining the function of the body’s organs. Vitamin C also plays an important role in maintaining immune function.
Everyone, whether children, adults, to pregnant and lactating women, needs to meet their daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C has long been known to have many uses for the body, including maintaining immunity and skin health. Vitamin C is known to be safe for consumption and easy to obtain. Both from food intake and also found in supplements, as a useful complementary nutritional intake.
Why is Vitamin C Important?
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps the recovery process. Various complaints such as coughs and colds can actually be prevented by meeting the needs of vitamin C in the body, especially when tired or when going to do strenuous activities. Vitamin C is also called good consumed to prevent dengue fever. It also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect body cells from free radical damage. Thus inhibiting the risk of premature aging, the course of cancer, and heart disease.
Vitamin C for the skin plays a role in the production of collagen, which is a protein needed to help the wound healing process, prevent wrinkles, slow down the aging process, is also able to maintain youth, and brighten the skin. It increases the absorption of iron from food and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease. Some research results believe that vitamin C can help maintain healthy cartilage, bones, and teeth. And also maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels, so it can prevent heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin C is also believed to prevent cataracts and gallbladder disease.
If you have hypertension, try adding foods rich in vitamin C to your daily menu. The reason is, various studies show that vitamin C intake can help lower blood pressure, even in hypertensive patients. Vitamin C has benefits for people with high cholesterol. Several previous studies have found that consuming 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides are “bad” cholesterol that can trigger plaque formation in blood vessels. Vitamin C helps prevent it by keeping levels of both under control. Intake of vitamin C is believed to have benefits for eye health. One study in the journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, for example, revealed that ascorbic acid has the potential to slow down the process of cataracts.
Another study in the same journal also mentions that the intake of vitamin C and minerals helps prevent macular degeneration. This disease occurs when the part of the retina called the macula is damaged. Known as a vitamin for the immune system, vitamin C actually has several benefits that may not be widely known. To get these properties, you only need to add a source of vitamin C to your daily menu.
What Happens if the Body Lacks Vitamin C?
If your daily needs are not met and the levels of vitamin C in your body are low, you can be at risk of developing scurvy. Scurvy is a condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, bleeding gums, and wounds that are difficult to heal.
The skin will become rough and uneven. Red spots will appear on the skin and if injured, the skin will take longer to heal. Lack of vitamin C can also make mood swings suddenly. It is also easy to gain weight and joints often feel sore.
Where Can We Get Vitamin C Intake?
Vegetables rich in vitamin C are kale, cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers. While fruits that contain vitamin C are kiwi, strawberries, guava, oranges, and papaya. In addition, you can take vitamin C supplements to meet their daily needs. However, before taking this supplement, you should first consult with your doctor and nutritionist. The reason is, so far, vitamin C supplements are recommended for people who are deficient in this nutrient. Consumption of supplements orally or by injection can prevent and overcome health problems due to vitamin C deficiency, including scurvy or scurvy.
Vitamin C turns out to have its own best time or the most optimal time for the body to absorb it properly. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, it’s a good idea to take vitamin C after meals. The body can only absorb 500 milligrams of vitamin C, from supplements, every day. Hence, the dose of vitamin C is more than 500 mg, should be divided into two times a day. For example, 250 mg at breakfast, and the rest you consume at lunch. This is done to maximize the absorption of vitamin C, so it is not wasted by the body through urine.
Risks of Consuming Too Much Vitamin C
Basically, the consumption of vitamin C supplements tends to be safe and does not cause side effects. However, if taken more than the recommended dose, ascorbic acid supplements are at risk of causing symptoms of nausea, acid reflux, stomach cramps, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, and insomnia. In some cases, taking too many vitamin C supplements can also cause kidney stones. Plus, long-term consumption of supplements with doses > 2,000 milligrams per day is at risk of triggering more severe side effects.
Side Effects of Vitamin C Injections
Injection of vitamin C is one way that is considered quite effective so that your daily nutritional and vitamin needs are met. Moreover, in certain conditions, such as illness, canker sores, or undergoing the recovery process, injecting vitamin C is quite helpful. In fact, this method is quite efficient because it does not need to go through the digestive process and is directly absorbed by your blood. However, it does not rule out the possibility of side effects and risks from injecting vitamin C.
The most common side effect of injecting vitamin C into the body is the appearance of pain and swelling at the injection site. However, if you use more than the safe dose of vitamin C, of course, there will be side effects from an excess dose of vitamin C.