Vitamin C antioxidants for Healthy life

  • Vitamin C Aids wound healing
  • It helps iron absorption
  • It is Anti-ageing
  • It may help to prevent cataracts

How it works

Vitamin C is essential for the body's production and maintenance of healthy collagen, which holds together cells in the skin, gums, and tendons. It also helps the white blood cells to fight infection and is vital for the efficient healing of wounds. An anti-oxidant, vitamin C can help neutralize potential damaging free radicals that trigger ageing and cancerous changes. It circulates in the blood, with any excess lost in the urine.

Absorption helpers Bioflavanoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables enhance the absorption of vitamin C, which works best in conjunction with the minerals calcium and magnesium.

Absorption inhibitors Smoking, the contraceptive pill, the drug tetracyclin (for infections and acne), aspirin, and corticosteroid drugs (for treating rheumatoid arthritis) all reduce vitamin C levels.

Taking vitamin C supplements

The adult RDA for vitamin C (60mg) is equivalent to one glass of orange juice. The upper safe limit is considered to be 3000mg (3g) for short-term use and 2000mg (2g) for long-term use. Optimum nutritionists recommend daily intakes from 400-1000mg and therapeutic intakes of 1000mg-10,000mg (10g).

Combining supplements Have any ginseng supplements you might also be taking at least three hours before or after taking vitamin C, or foods rich in vitamin C.

Precautions Mega-doses of a gram a day or more may cause loose bowel movements, while those prone to kidney stones are advised against large intakes. Mega-dosing with vitamin C can also alter the results of blood and urine tests and may mask blood in stools that can indicate bowel cancer, so first inform your doctor. People with diabetes must be aware that vitamin C in the urine can lead to inaccurate sugar results.


Why take this supplement?

Smokers, who tend to have poor vitamin C intakes, have increased needs - estimated to be between 40mg a day to an extra 25mg with each cigarette. Infections, exposure to pollution (especially carbon monoxide), stress, people over 55, convalescents, athletes, and routine aspirin users may also benefit from vitamin C supplements. Optimum nutritionists believe that regular vitamin C supplements can not only treat specific problems, but can also help to prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and infections. Signs that you may need a supplement include:

  • Frequent colds and infection
  • Lack of energy
  • Bleeding, tender gums
  • Easy bruising
  • Nose bleeds
  • Slow wound healing
  • Red pimples on the skin

Therapeutic uses

  • Cataracts Taking vitamin C supplements has been found to reduce the risk of cataract development. People with cataracts have shown a marked improvement in vision within two weeks of taking a 350mg daily supplement in some cases.
  • Coldsores People with recurrent coldsores have remained free of outbreaks for over four years when taking 1,000-2,000mg (1-2g) vitamin C daily. Taking similar quantities at the first sign of symptoms may prevent full-blown outbreaks of coldsores.
  • Wound healing People who take 200-250mg of vitamin C daily have an improved recovery rate after surgery, while the healing of bedsores and bleeding gums has been evident in people taking 250-500mg daily.
  • Infections Supplements of vitamin C may increase the immune system's ability to fight viral and bacterial infections, helping, for example, to reduce the duration of a cold.

Chemical names

  • Ascorbic acid


  • Solid tablets
  • Timed-release tablets
  • Chewable tablets
  • Effervescent tablets
  • Syrups
  • Powders
  • Pastilles

RDA for adults


Top sources of vitamin C mg/100g of food

  • Papaya60mg/100g
  • Guava230mg/100g
  • Blackcurrant200mg/100g
  • Green pepper120mg/100g
  • Broccoli87mg/100g
  • Strawberries77mg/100g
  • Kiwi fruit59mg/100g
  • Oranges54mg/100g
  • Cabbage49mg/100g
  • Cauliflower49mg/100g


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