Vitamin C – Surprising Benefits, side effects and Precautions.

vitamin C

We know every type of vitamin is essential for our body. In this article, I am going to summarise facts of vitamin C that everyone needs to know. Vitamin C is scientifically known as the Ascorbic acid and is water-soluble . Our body cannot synthesise Vitamin C like some animals do therefore we need to obtain it majorly from food.

Sources of Vitamin C 

The rich source of Vitamin C are present in Citrus fruits and Vegetables and also can  be made in a laboratory. Actually, we get vitamin C daily by what we eat and drink.

These are following listed food items that we can consume for Vitamin C.

  • Berries,
  • Potatoes,
  • Peppers red,
  • yellow,
  • green capsicumBroccoli,
  • sprouts,
  • Tomatoes,
  • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, Lime etc.

Fresh squeezed orange juice or concentrate juice is a good source of vitamin C. Cutting and heating food changes the concentration of Vitamin C so it is to eat the fruits and vegetables in a raw form or lightly cooked form.

Why Vitamin C is essential for our body?

Vitamin C helps our body in the following ways:

  1. It helps in keeping your skin, bones and connective tissue healthy.
  2. Helps in the wound healing process.
  3. There are certain skin creams which contain vitamin C helps to prevent the wrinkled skin.
  4. Taking vit.C from dietary supplements helps to prevent cartilage loss and helps to prevent the effects of osteoarthritis.
  5. Taking vit.C to reduce the low-density lipoprotein(Bad Cholesterol)
  6. Vit C also helps to cure the anaemic  patients – by increasing iron absorption in the body.
  7. Higher intake of Vit c helps to prevent the risk of gout but it is NOT used to treat gout.
  8. Taking it c before and after a few days of heart surgery helps to prevent irregular heartbeat after heart surgery.
  9. Vit C also helps to prevent age-related vision loss.
  10. Vit C + Vit E help to reduce protein in the urine in diabetics.
  11. Applying a creams containing vitamin C + vitamin E helps to prevent the sunburn effect . vitamin C alone is in effective.

Effects of Vitamin C deficiency:

  • Vit C deficiency form s the small acne-like bumps on the arms, thighs or buttocks.
  • Hair follicles contain many tiny blood vessels but due to Vit C deficiency, bright red spots from around the follicles.
  • Vit C deficiency forms the spoon-shaped fingernails and red spots underneath the nail bed.
  • Low Vit C also associated with the dry, sun-damaged skin.
  • Vit C weakens blood vessels and makes easy bruising.
  • Vit C interferes with tissue formation causing wounds to heal more slowly.
  • Vit C deficiency causes severe joint pain 
  • Vit C is also important for bone formation and deficiency makes waken and brittle bones.
  • Also, deficiency makes the tooth loss and gum bleeding.
  • Vit C is an important nutrient for the immune system so low level leads to the risk of infection.
  • Vit c increase the risk of iron deficiency anaemia leads to increase the bleeding.
  • Low vit c also linked to weight gain but some other factors also affect.
  • Regular consumption of Vit C decreases the risk of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Side Effects of Vitamin C supplements: –

Vit C is likely safe for most of the people if it is taken in a recommended dose form via any route such as IV, tropical, oral or IM route.

Consuming Vit C in an excess (higher than 2000 mg daily) amount may cause nausea, vomiting, headache ,heartburn or other side effects.This is unsafe and may also cause a lot of side effects including kidney stones, diarrhoea etc.

Precautions during vitamin C supplementation:-

  • Vit C is safe for Pregnant and breastfeeding women as long as its taken by mouth in a dose not exceeding 2000 mg daily .
  • Taking vit C along with vit E and alpha lipoic acid might worsen the mental function in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Avoid taking supplements containing Vit C or other antioxidant vitamins before and after heart surgery because it may interfere with surgical healing .
  • Weight loss surgery can cause the body to absorb more oxalate from food which leads to an increasing amount of oxalate in the urine. Also taking Vit C increases the oxalate in the urine. More Oxalates forms the kidney stones. So it is advisable to avoid taking large amounts of Vit C after weight loss surgery.
  • Thalassemia patients should avoid taking Vit C supplements as it increases more iron absorption which might make the condition worse.
  • Long term use of Vit C in high doses before a kidney transplant may increase the risk of transplant rejection.
  • Taking Vit C along with Vit E in Schizophrenic patients might worsen psychosis in some people when taken with antipsychotic drugs.