Vitamin C: Surprising Benefits, Side Effects, And Precautions

Stephy Gandhi

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Vitamin C: Surprising Benefits, Side Effects, And Precautions

We know every type of vitamin is essential for our body. In this article, I am going to summarise the 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 synthesize Vitamin C as some animals do. Therefore, we need to obtain it majorly from food.

Sources Of Vitamin C 

Sources Of Vitamin C
Source: Fullscript

The rich source of Vitamin C is 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 the following listed food items that we can consume in our diet.

  • Berries
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers red
  • Yellow
  • Green Capsicum
  • Broccoli
  • 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. It helps in the wound healing process.
  3. Certain skin creams contain Vitamin C helps to prevent wrinkled skin.
  4. Taking dietary supplements helps to prevent cartilage loss and helps to avoid the effects of osteoarthritis.
  5. It reduces the low-density lipoprotein (Bad Cholesterol)
  6. Vit C also helps to cure anemic patients – by increasing iron absorption in the body.
  7. A higher intake of it helps to prevent the risk of gout, but it is NOT used to treat gout.
  8. Taking it 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 helps to reduce protein in the urine in diabetics.
  11. Applying creams containing Vitamin C + Vitamin E helps to prevent the sunburn effect. Vitamin C alone is in effect.

Effects Of Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Vit. C deficiency forms 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 form around the follicles.
  • Forms the spoon-shaped fingernails and red spots underneath the nail bed.
  • Low Vit. C is also associated with dry, sun-damaged skin.
  • Weakens blood vessels and makes easy bruising.
  • Interferes with tissue formation causing wounds to heal more slowly.
  • Causes severe joint pain 
  • Important for bone formation and deficiency makes waken and brittle bones.
  • Tooth loss and gum bleeding
  • An important nutrient for the immune system so low level leads to the risk of infection.
  • An increase in the risk of iron deficiency anemia leads to an increase the bleeding.
  • Linked to weight gain but some other factors also affect it.
  • Regular consumption 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, diarrhea, etc.

Precautions During Vitamin C Supplementation

  • Safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women as long as it’s taken by mouth in a dose not exceeding 2000 mg daily.
  • Taking it 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 form 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.
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