Let me C…

I managed to catch a cold this weekend and what I thought were the after affects of choking on coffee this morning (yea..I did) turned out to be a slow-creeping sore throat along with a little achiness. I skipped working out today and came right home. I stopped at the drugstore and picked up some Airborne and Nyquil so I plan on medicating myself tonight. But I wanted to talk about vitamin C before becoming drowsy!

Vitamin C is very common in a lot of foods. Vitamin C can improve your immune system and is also necessary for collagen production in the body. The controversy of the effects towards cold prevention is still ongoing and research is still inconclusive as to the other important benefits regarding asthma, cancer and diabetes. However, there is some research that shows people living in extreme weather conditions could benefit from supplementation. Vitamin C can also increase the absorption of iron in your blood. I like to suggest to my anemic patients that they consume orange juice or eat a citrus fruit everyday with their meals. Below are the recommended intake guidelines for vitamin C in adults over 18 years of age.

  • Recommended daily intake by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the institute of Medicine for men older than 18 years-old is 90 milligrams per day; for women older than 18 years-old is 75 milligrams per day; for pregnant women older than 18 years-old is 85 milligrams per day; for breastfeeding women older than 18 years-old is 120 milligrams per day. Recently, some experts have questioned whether the recommended daily intake should be raised. Others have recommended higher intake in some individuals, such as smokers, in whom an additional 35 milligrams per day has been recommended by some.
  • Upper limit of intake (UL) should not exceed 2,000 milligrams per day in men or women older than 18 years old (including pregnant or breastfeeding women).

The most common side effect with consuming too much vitamin C is diarrhea. Airborne formula recommends not exceeding 3 tablets per day (3000 mg).  It will most likely happen but if you don’t mind it, then you are probably safe if you don’t make this a habit. Other more severe side effects include nausea, abdominal cramps, nosebleeds, kidney stones and gastritis. Beware that if you take an exorbitant amount of vitamin C everyday you may go into withdrawal if you  suddenly quit the supplement. Gradually taper off…it’s the safest way.

Anywho…I will always recommend that you get your vitamin C from foods and beverages (I wonder if Mimosas count). Great sources include oranges (1 medium fruit, 70 mg), guava (1/2 cup, 188 mg), red bell peppers (1/2 cup, 142 mg), kiwi (1 fruit, 70 mg), green bell pepper (1/2 cup, 60 mg), grapefruit juice (3/4 cup, 60 mg), V8 juice (3/4 cup, 50 mg), strawberries (1/2 cup, 49 mg), brussels sprouts (1/2 cup, 48 mg), and cantaloupe (1/4 whole fruit, 47 mg). If you eat a well balanced diet, you are most likely getting all of your vitamin C and you probably do not need vitamin supplement. I think I might skip mine tonight..I’m working on 2000 mg already. I’m looking to kick this sucker though. I’ve got a lot to do this week!

Have a great night!

D

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