La Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid), is probably the most studied and known vitamin. It is a well known antioxidant water-soluble, which protects against the attack of free radicals in aqueous environments (intracellular liquid, plasma).
> Properties of vitamin C supplements
> Vitamin C food supplements
> Herbal supplements of vitamin C
> Vitamin C supplements on the market
> Daily requirement
Kiwi, vitamin C food supplements
Properties of vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C is an indispensable vitamin in numerous vital functions for the body.
Participates in the formation of collagen, helps the growth of bones and teeth and promotes their maintenance in full health.
Vitamin C triggers the chemical reactions of cellular metabolism and stimulates the production of adrenal hormones.
Useful for the immune system and against the action of free radicals, vitamin C also helps to absorb and use iron.
It has an effective action for skin health, against blemishes and acne, but also to speed up the healing process.
Vitamin C prelieves joint pain, infections, bruising and the risk of cataracts. Last but not least, vitamin C considerably reduces stress and the negative effects associated with it.
Vitamin C food supplements
Foods rich in vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, in particular: kiwi, citrus fruits, peppers and chilli, broccoli, papaya, parsley, blackberries, strawberries, cabbage, spinach.
To make the most of the vitamin C present in food, it is best to consume the latter raw or just blanched, reducing the cooking time to a minimum and immersing the vegetables in very little water (since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it is easily washed away by water).
You should also avoid leaving food at room temperature for too long, especially if exposed to air and light or immersed in water for a long time. Another precaution is to drink citrus juices immediately after preparationotherwise much of the vitamin C is lost.
You can learn more about the properties and benefits of papaya, a source of vitamin C
Herbal Vitamin C Supplements
An excellent herbal supplement of vitamin C is represented by Acerola (Malpighia glabra).
L'Acerola it is a shrubby plant that can reach a maximum size of 2 meters. Originally from South America (today it is mostly cultivated in Brazil), it produces an oval fruit, red when ripe with a sour taste.
The higher concentration of vitamin C in this fruit is obtained when they are still immature, for this reason they are collected still green to then obtain the juice which, following concentration, drying and pulverization, gives rise to a rich extract up to 25% vitamin C.
Acerola extracts can be purchased in the form of herbal teas or chewable tablets.
Find out more about the properties, calories and nutritional values of acerola
Commercially available vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C can be found commercially within mineral ascorbates. These are formed when ascorbic acid is reacted with sodium or potassium carbonate to obtain the salts of ascorbic acid.
These, compared to pure vitamin C, are less acidic and also have a more pleasant taste and are better tolerated in the stomach. In addition, for every gram of product, there is one gram of vitamin C, so the concentration is very high.
In ascorbates, however, there is a limit to be taken into account and that concerns the supply of the additional mineral. If we talk about sodium ascorbate, for example, it is necessary to pay attention to the sodium intake which can be harmful in people who follow a diet poor in this mineral.
In this case it is good to prefer thepotassium ascorbateor, always bearing in mind that potassium has a diuretic action and can therefore be harmful in people with kidney problems.
Calcium ascorbate, on the other hand, due to the presence of calcium, it is useful in the prevention of osteoporosis.
In any case, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking vitamin C supplements.
Daily requirement of vitamin C
The daily requirement of vitamin C varies according to age and second the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), this is equal to:
- Children 1-3 years: 20 mg / day
- Boys 15-17 years: 100mg / day (males), 80mg / day (females)
- Pregnant women: 10 mg / day
- Breastfeeding women: 60 mg / day
- Men: 90 mg / day
- Women: 80 mg / day
It is good to keep in mind that a medium-sized orange contains about 90 mg of vitamin C and a kiwi about 60 mg, so this requirement is easily covered, for example, with a juice.
In some natural physiological conditions and in some negative conditions you need a vitamin C supplement:
- During the pregnancy e breastfeeding breast.
- In case of stress, smoking, pollution, contact with potentially toxic substances, infections, convalescence.
Vitamin C can be destroyed by stress, smoking, the use of antibiotics, contraceptives, cortisone and aspirin, and also in case of fever or exposure to sources of heat and light.
Can You Get Too Much Vitamin C?