Vitamin C is without doubt one of the best-known important micronutrients due to its position in selling immune operate within the physique. However that’s not vitamin C is beneficial for: it’s additionally nice for reinforcing muscle restoration and limiting soreness after robust coaching periods, and is doubtlessly helpful for shielding cognitive operate as you age.
Right here’s what our analysis group uncovered concerning the wide-ranging advantages of vitamin C supplementation.
Vitamin C advantages
1. Our attraction to Vitamin C as a remedy for the widespread chilly began within the Seventies.
That’s when a person named Linus Pauling informed the world to start out taking heavy doses of Vitamin C. In his ebook How you can Dwell Longer and Really feel Higher, he advisable megadoses (an precise scientific time period) of the vitamin to push back the widespread chilly, amongst different issues.
Why did the world hearken to this man?
As a result of he was (and nonetheless is) thought-about one of many high scientific minds of all time (1). He just about single-handedly based the fields of quantum chemistry AND molecular biology. He was awarded two completely different Nobel prizes, in two completely different classes (chemistry and peace).
The person was sensible so the world listened when he informed us to take far more Vitamin C than anybody thought was potential. So what if it introduced on a “laxative” impact. Kidney stones? No sweat if it means no extra colds. The phrase unfold and shortly Vitamin C and “remedy for the widespread chilly” had been linked without end.
Regardless that Linus Pauling’s recommendation could not have produced outcomes out the way in which he hoped, individuals nonetheless line as much as purchase Vitamin C to at the present time.
2. Extra scientific knowledge has poured in since Pauling’s ebook got here out
To try to assist individuals kind out the information, The U.S. Nationwide Library of Drugs has an official authorities assertion on Vitamin C and colds: the analysis is “conflicting” (2).
This doesn’t appear very clear, and that’s as a result of the efficacy of Vitamin C relies on who you might be, the place you reside, and exactly what outcome you’re searching for whenever you take the complement.
No research have but been capable of set up a hyperlink between taking a Vitamin C complement and stopping a chilly.
3. Vitamin C could do one thing for colds, however not what you could suppose
Maybe for those who’re a long-distance runner residing in Iceland, you will notice a profit from Vitamin C supplementation. The one shred of proof supporting any constructive impact of Vitamin C on the widespread chilly was seen on individuals who had been exerting themselves very closely in winter environments. Particulars are as follows:
In 2007 a assessment research was carried out, after which up to date in 2013 (3). What which means is researchers checked out all of the managed trials ever carried out involving Vitamin C, courting method again to 1966.
That’s 40 years of Vitamin C analysis rolled into one completely succinct report.
The assessment research concerned thirty trials comparisons and over 11,000 members. It was discovered that taking Vitamin C dietary supplements to forestall a chilly was no simpler than taking the placebo.
In different phrases, mega-dosing your self with C won’t maintain you from getting a chilly.
However the half concerning the cold-weather endurance athletes holds true: the identical assessment research discovered an 8% probability that the chilly would finish sooner in the event that they took Vitamin C. They had been skiers, marathon runners, and troopers working in sub-arctic environments.
Docs speculate that the rationale for the profit is as a result of these tremendous athletic cold-weather sorts have a Vitamin C deficiency. By dosing themselves with C, they’re merely bringing their ranges again as much as regular.
So by no means ought to we deduce from that the necessity to mega-dose ourselves with Vitamin C with the intention to forestall, shorten, or deal with the widespread chilly.
4. Vitamin C could also be outclassed by zinc for treating the widespread chilly
Seems we’ve been trying down the incorrect complement path the entire time. Researchers within the UK have revealed that Zinc, not Vitamin C, is the magic cold-fighter (4).
In one other look-back research involving 67 completely different research, treatments for the widespread chilly, together with Vitamin C dietary supplements, had been examined. There have been no clear advantages to be present in any of the analysis for any of the normal treatments apart from zinc and washing your palms so much.
Vitamin C negative effects
It’s onerous to take an excessive amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble complement, which implies that it is vitally onerous to take an excessive amount of. When your physique will get extreme vitamin C, it might often simply excrete the additional vitamin C in your urine.
In reality, a number of medical trials have used very excessive doses of vitamin C (10,000 mg of vitamin C per day) for as much as three years with out recording any vital hostile results (5).
Very excessive doses of vitamin C may cause gastrointestinal issues, complications, and insomnia. Nonetheless, based on the Mayo Clinic, an excessive amount of vitamin C may cause delicate to average diarrhea, nausea, cramping, complications, and insomnia (6).
Most of those negative effects are attributable to excessive concentrations of unabsorbed vitamin C pulling water into the digestive tract. These negative effects are most unlikely to look in anybody at doses of 2000 mg per day or much less.
Vitamin C dosage
Most research use 100 to 1000 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is usually studied in medical trials at doses starting from 100 to 1000 mg per day or extra. Alternatively, the advisable minimal every day consumption is simply 90 mg for males and 75 mg for girls (7).
Maintain your vitamin C consumption beneath 2000 mg per day. As famous above, the tolerable higher restrict of vitamin C is 2000 mg per day for adults, which implies that doses beneath this quantity are well-tolerated and never anticipated to lead to any negative effects. As such, so long as you’re beneath this quantity, the suitable dosage goes to rely on the express function of vitamin C supplementation that you’re aiming at.
For athletic restoration, goal for 600-1000 mg. For instance, if you’re seeking to forestall sickness after a marathon, triathlon, or one other lengthy and troublesome athletic occasion, 600 mg appears to be the suitable dosage.
Stopping muscle soreness could require a lot increased doses (1000 mg per day or extra). Alternatively, decrease doses have been studied for treating persistent irritation amongst individuals with metabolic illness, and as little as 100 mg per day has been helpful in observational analysis on lowering the danger of persistent illnesses.
Vitamin C advantages FAQ
Q: How a lot vitamin C is an excessive amount of?
A: In observe, it’s very onerous to overload on vitamin C since it’s a water soluble vitamin. The tolerable higher restrict for vitamin C consumption, established by the Nationwide Institute of Well being’s Workplace of Dietary Dietary supplements, means that as much as 2000 mg of vitamin C per day will not be more likely to lead to any hostile results.
Medical analysis has used doses past this stage, as much as 10,000 mg per day for as much as three years, with no severe hostile results, although at excessive doses it’s potential to get gastrointestinal points merely from the amount of vitamin C dissolved in your abdomen.
Conserving your supplemental vitamin C consumption beneath 2000 mg per day is a straightforward solution to make it possible for none of those points occur, whereas nonetheless getting any potential advantages from the complement.
Q: What are the most important advantages of vitamin C?
A: Vitamin C is a closely studied vitamin, and the stability of the proof means that, whereas vitamin C won’t convey concerning the main modifications in long-term well being that many individuals hope for, it may be helpful at a number of particular purposes.
Its position in boosting your immune system appears to assist forestall infections after robust athletic occasions like extremely marathons or triathlons, and a few proof means that it could assist stave off cognitive decline.
Vitamin C can be very useful if you’re making an attempt to spice up your iron ranges, as a result of iron absorption is considerably enhanced within the presence of vitamin C. For these and different area of interest purposes, vitamin C supplementation could make loads of sense.
Q: What meals are highest in vitamin C?
A: Not surprisingly, the meals with the very best focus of vitamin C per serving are just about all vegetables and fruit. Oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are among the meals which have probably the most vitamin C.
Every of those vegetables and fruit has a minimum of 60% of your advisable every day consumption of vitamin C per 100 grams of meals, and bell peppers and kiwi fruit have over 100%.
These are among the best methods to get vitamin C in your food regimen from pure sources, although supplementation can be an choice, particularly if you’re in search of high-dose vitamin C.
Associated: Our greatest vitamin C picks
Vitamin C is greatest identified for reinforcing your immune operate, however could be extra helpful as a device for muscle restoration after robust exercises and for shielding the mind as you become older.
Regardless, it’s one of many easiest and strongest antioxidants on the market, and is extraordinarily secure from a side-effects perspective.