In simple terms vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods naturally and oftentimes added to foods and dietary supplements. A water-soluble vitamin means that it will not be stored in the body. Instead, it is carried to the body’s tissues for immediate use. Daily, the average man should consume 90mg per day. The average woman should consume 75mg per day.
What is Vitamin C?
In the body, it is required to make collagen, encourages iron-absorption, and can serve as a shield for the immune system.
How much Vitamin C should I take?
It is important to consume enough daily for it to work its best for your body. You can find recommended daily values on the National Institute of Health for most age groups. Adults will need 75-90mg per day depending on if you are a man or a woman. It is recommended that smokers add an additional 35mg per day to the average.
Can you take too much?
Luckily, it is unlikely that you will eat too much vitamin C in one day with the average diet. It is also unlikely that dietary supplements contain ‘too much’ of this vitamin. Many times, if the body cannot use a water-soluble vitamin or mineral, it will excrete it. Supplements that contain 10x the recommended daily intake may seem like they are ‘better’ but the fact remains the body simply cannot absorb that much of this vitamin in one sitting. The priority when thinking about supplementing intake is the source and whether it will be absorbed.
What are signs of a Vitamin C deficiency?
Vitamin C deficiency was most common in the 1700’s. Since then, access increased in both foods and dietary supplements. Today, it is uncommon to experience deficiency. If you are concerned about this, please consult a healthcare professional.
Is there a difference in types/brands?
Absolutely! As stated in previous comments, the goal is absorption. There are certainly forms that are lesser absorbed than others. If your body does not absorb the vitamin, it cannot produce any benefit to your body. It is that simple. In terms of food sources, organic, unprocessed foods are the best option to get this essential nutrient naturally. For dietary supplements, a liposomal vitamin c, or capsule with an absorption catalyst like fulvic acid can be very beneficial. Do not be fooled by brands that claim to have 1000mg+ of this essential nutrient as it is likely you will excrete most of what you consume before it is properly utilized in the body.