Vitamin C
 

International name – Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid.

 

General description

It is a substance necessary for collagen synthesis and an important constituent of connective tissues, blood cells, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, gums, skin, teeth and bones. An important component in cholesterol metabolism. A highly effective antioxidant, a guarantee of a good mood, healthy immunity, strength and energy.

It is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in many foods, can be synthetically added to them, or consumed as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike many animals, are not able to produce vitamin C on their own, so it is an essential component in the diet.

History

The importance of vitamin C has been scientifically recognized after centuries of failure and fatal illness. (a disease associated with a lack of vitamin C) plagued mankind for centuries, until finally attempts were made to cure it. Patients often experienced symptoms such as rash, loose gums, multiple bleeding, pallor, depression, and partial paralysis.

 
  • 400 BC Hippocrates was the first to describe the symptoms of scurvy.
  • Winter of 1556 – there was an epidemic of the disease that covered the whole of Europe. Few knew that the outbreak was caused by a shortage of fruits and vegetables during these winter months. Although this was one of the earliest recorded epidemics of scurvy, not much research has been done to cure the disease. Jacques Cartier, a renowned explorer, noted with curiosity that his sailors, who ate oranges, limes and berries, did not get scurvy, and those who had the disease recovered.
  • In 1747, James Lind, a British physician, first established that there was a definite relationship between diet and the incidence of scurvy. To prove his point, he introduced lemon juice to those who were diagnosed. After several doses, the patients were cured.
  • In 1907, studies showed that when guinea pigs (one of the few animals that can contract the disease) were infected with scurvy, several doses of vitamin C helped them recover completely.
  • In 1917, a biological study was carried out to identify the antiscorbutic properties of food.
  • In 1930 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi proved that hyaluronic acid, which he extracted from the adrenal glands of pigs in 1928, has an identical structure to vitamin C, which he was able to obtain in large quantities from bell peppers.
  • In 1932, in their independent research, Heworth and King established the chemical composition of vitamin C.
  • In 1933, the first successful attempt was made to synthesize ascorbic acid, identical to natural vitamin C – the first step towards industrial production of the vitamin since 1935.
  • In 1937, Heworth and Szent-Gyorgyi received the Nobel Prize for their research on vitamin C.
  • Since 1989, the recommended dose of vitamin C per day has been established and today it is enough to completely defeat scurvy.

Vitamin C rich foods

Indicated approximate availability in 100 g of product

Curly cabbage

 

120 μg

Snow peas60 mg
+ 20 more foods rich in vitamin C:
Strawberries58.8Chinese cabbage45gooseberries27.7Raw potatoes19.7
Orange53.2Mango36.4Mandarin26.7Honey melon18
Lemon53grapefruit34.4Raspberry26.2Basil18
Cauliflower48.2lime29.1Blackberry21A tomato13.7
Pineapple47.8Spinach28.1Lingonberry21Blueberries9.7

Daily requirement for vitamin C

In 2013, the European Scientific Committee on Nutrition stated that the average requirement for healthy vitamin C intake is 90 mg / day for men and 80 mg / day for women. The ideal amount for most people has been found to be around 110 mg / day for men and 95 mg / day for women. These levels were sufficient, according to the expert group, to balance the metabolic loss of vitamin C and to maintain plasma ascorbate plasma concentrations of about 50 μmol / L.

AgeMen (mg per day)Women (mg per day)
0-6 months4040
7-12 months5050
1-3 years1515
4-8 years2525
9-13 years4545
14-18 years7565
19 years and older9075
Pregnancy (18 years old and younger) 80
Pregnancy (19 years and older) 85
Breastfeeding (18 years old and younger) 115
Breastfeeding (19 years and older) 120
Smokers (19 years old and older)125110

The recommended intake for smokers is 35 mg / day higher than non-smokers because they are exposed to increased oxidative stress from toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood vitamin C levels.

The need for vitamin C increases:

Vitamin C deficiency can occur when an amount is taken below the recommended level, but not enough to cause a complete deficiency (approximately 10 mg / day). The following populations are more likely to be at risk of vitamin C deficiency:

 
  • smokers (active and passive);
  • babies who consume pasteurized or boiled breast milk;
  • people with limited diets that do not include enough fruits and vegetables;
  • people with severe intestinal malabsorption, cachexia, certain types of cancer, renal failure during chronic hemodialysis;
  • people living in a polluted environment;
  • when healing wounds;
  • when taking oral contraceptives.

The need for vitamin C also increases with severe stress, lack of sleep, SARS and flu, cardiovascular diseases.

Physical and chemical properties

Empirical Formula of Vitamin C – C6Р8О6… It is a crystalline powder, white or slightly yellow in color, practically odorless and very sour in taste. Melting temperature – 190 degrees Celsius. The active components of the vitamin, as a rule, are destroyed during the heat treatment of foods, especially if there are traces of metals such as copper. Vitamin C may be considered the most unstable of all water-soluble vitamins, but it nonetheless survives freezing. Easily soluble in water and methanol, oxidizes well, especially in the presence of heavy metal ions (copper, iron, etc.). On contact with air and light, it gradually darkens. In the absence of oxygen, it can withstand temperatures up to 100 ° C.

Water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C, dissolve in water and are not deposited in the body. They are excreted in the urine, so we need a constant supply of vitamin from the outside. Water-soluble vitamins are easily destroyed during storage or preparation of food. Proper storage and consumption can reduce the loss of vitamin C. For example, milk and grains need to be stored in a dark place, and the water in which vegetables were cooked can be used as a base for soup.

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The beneficial properties of vitamin C

Like most other micronutrients, vitamin C has multiple functions. It is powerful and a cofactor for several important reactions. It plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance that makes up a large part of our joints and skin. Since the body cannot repair itself without collagen, wound healing depends on adequate amounts of vitamin C – which is why one of the symptoms of scurvy is open sores that do not heal. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb and use (which is why anemia can be a symptom of scurvy, even in people who consume enough iron).

In addition to these benefits, vitamin C is an antihistamine: it blocks the release of the neurotransmitter histamine, which also causes inflammation in an allergic reaction. This is why scurvy usually comes with a rash, and why getting enough vitamin C helps relieve allergic reactions.

 

 

Vitamin C is also linked to some non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, and even. Studies have found a link between vitamin C and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Several meta-analyzes of vitamin C clinical trials have shown improvements in endothelial function and blood pressure. High levels of vitamin C in the blood reduce the risk of developing by 42%.

Recently, the medical profession has become interested in the possible benefits of intravenous vitamin C for maintaining the quality of life in patients receiving chemotherapy. Decreased levels of vitamin C in the tissues of the eye have been associated with an increased risk of occurrence, which is more common in older people. In addition, there is evidence that people who consume adequate amounts of vitamin C have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis. Vitamin C is also highly potent against lead poisoning, presumably preventing its absorption in the intestines and aiding urinary excretion.

The European Scientific Committee on Nutrition, which provides scientific advice to policymakers, has confirmed that significant health improvements have been seen in people who have taken vitamin C. Ascorbic acid contributes to:

 
  • protection of cell components from oxidation;
  • normal collagen formation and functioning of blood cells, skin, bones, cartilage, gums and teeth;
  • improving the absorption of iron from plant sources;
  • normal functioning of the immune system;
  • normal energy-intensive metabolism;
  • maintaining the normal functioning of the immune system during and after intense physical activity;
  • regeneration of a simplified form of vitamin E;
  • normal psychological state;
  • reducing the feeling of tiredness and fatigue.

Pharmacokinetic experiments have shown that plasma vitamin C concentration is controlled by three primary mechanisms: intestinal absorption, tissue transport, and renal reabsorption. In response to an increase in oral doses of vitamin C, the concentration of vitamin C in plasma increases sharply at doses from 30 to 100 mg / day and reaches a steady-state concentration (from 60 to 80 μmol / L) at doses from 200 to 400 mg / day per day in healthy young people. One hundred percent absorption efficiency is observed with oral intake of vitamin C in doses up to 200 mg at a time. After the plasma ascorbic acid level reaches saturation, the additional vitamin C is mainly excreted in the urine. Notably, intravenous vitamin C bypasses intestinal absorption control so that very high plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid can be achieved; over time, renal excretion restores vitamin C to baseline plasma levels.

 

Vitamin C for colds

Vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system, which is activated when the body encounters infections. The study found that prophylactic use of ≥200 mg vitamin C supplements significantly reduced the duration of cold episodes: in children, the duration of cold symptoms was reduced by about 14%, while in adults it was reduced by 8%. In addition, a study in a group of marathon runners, skiers and soldiers who train in the Arctic showed that doses of the vitamin from 250 mg / day to 1 g / day reduced the incidence of colds by 50%. Most preventive studies have used a dose of 1 g / day. When treatment was started at the onset of symptoms, vitamin C supplementation did not shorten the duration or severity of the disease, even at doses ranging from 1 to 4 g / day[38].

How Vitamin C is Absorbed

Since the human body is unable to synthesize vitamin C, we must include it in our daily diet. Dietary vitamin C in the reduced form of ascorbic acid is absorbed through the intestinal tissues, through the small intestine, by active transport and passive diffusion using SVCT 1 and 2 carriers.

Vitamin C does not need to be digested before being absorbed. Ideally, about 80-90% of the vitamin C consumed is absorbed from the intestines. However, the absorption capacity of vitamin C is inversely related to intake; it tends to reach 80-90% effectiveness with a fairly low intake of the vitamin, but these percentages drop markedly with a daily intake of more than 1 gram. Given a typical food intake of 30-180 mg / day, absorption is usually in the 70-90% range, but increases to 98% with very low intakes (less than 20 mg). Conversely, when consumed in excess of 1 g, the absorption tends to be less than 50%. The whole process is very fast; the body takes what it needs in about two hours, and within three to four hours the unused portion is released from the bloodstream. Everything happens even faster in people who consume alcohol or cigarettes, as well as in stressful conditions. Many other substances and conditions can also increase the body’s need for vitamin C: fever, viral diseases, taking antibiotics, cortisone, aspirin and other pain relievers, the effects of toxins (for example, oil foods, carbon monoxide) and heavy metals (for example, cadmium, lead, mercury).

In fact, the concentration of vitamin C in white blood cells can be 80% of the concentration of vitamin C in plasma. However, the body has a limited storage capacity for vitamin C. The most common storage sites are (about 30 mg),,, eyes, and. Vitamin C is also found, albeit in lesser amounts, in the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, and muscles. Plasma concentrations of vitamin C increase with increasing intake, but up to a certain limit. Any intake of 500 mg or more is usually excreted from the body. Unused vitamin C is excreted from the body or first converted to dehydroascorbic acid. This oxidation occurs mainly in the liver and also in the kidneys. Unused vitamin C is excreted in the urine.

Interaction with other elements

Vitamin C participates, along with other antioxidants, vitamin E and beta-carotene, in many processes in the body. High vitamin C levels increase blood levels of other antioxidants, and the therapeutic effects are more significant when used in combination. Vitamin C improves the stability and utilization of vitamin E. However, it can interfere with the absorption of selenium and must therefore be taken at different times.

Vitamin C may protect against the harmful effects of beta-carotene supplementation in smokers. Smokers tend to have low vitamin C levels, and this can lead to accumulation of a harmful form of beta carotene called free radical carotene, which is formed when beta carotene acts to regenerate vitamin E. Smokers taking beta carotene supplements also Vitamin C should be taken.

Vitamin C assists in the absorption of iron, helping to convert it into a soluble form. This reduces the ability of food components such as phytates to form insoluble iron complexes. Vitamin C reduces copper absorption. Calcium and manganese supplements can reduce the excretion of vitamin C, and vitamin C supplements can increase manganese absorption. Vitamin C also helps to reduce excretion and folate deficiency, which can lead to increased excretion. Vitamin C helps protect against the toxic effects of cadmium, copper, vanadium, cobalt, mercury and selenium.

 

Food combination for better absorption of vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to assimilate the iron contained in.

The iron in parsley improves the absorption of vitamin C from lemon.

The same effect is observed when combined:

  • artichoke and bell pepper:
  • spinach and strawberries.

Vitamin C in lemon enhances the effect of kakhetins in green tea.

Vitamin C in tomatoes goes well with fiber, healthy fats, proteins, and zinc found in.

A combination of broccoli (vitamin C), pork and mushrooms (sources of zinc) has a similar effect.

Difference between natural and synthetic vitamin C

In the fast growing dietary supplement market, vitamin C can be found in many forms, with varying claims regarding its effectiveness or bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the extent to which a nutrient (or drug) becomes available to the tissue for which it is intended after administration. Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical and there are no differences in their biological activity. The possibility that the bioavailability of L-ascorbic acid from natural sources may differ from the biosynthesis of synthetic ascorbic acid has been investigated and no clinically significant differences were observed. Nevertheless, getting the vitamin into the body is still desirable from natural sources, and synthetic supplements should be prescribed by a doctor. Only a specialist can determine the required amount of vitamin that the body needs. And by eating a complete diet of fruits and vegetables, we can easily provide our body with an adequate supply of vitamin C.

 

The use of vitamin C in official medicine

Vitamin C is essential in traditional medicine. Doctors prescribe it in the following cases:

  • with scurvy: 100-250 mg 1 or 2 times a day, for several days;
  • for acute respiratory diseases: 1000-3000 milligrams per day;
  • to prevent harm to the kidneys during diagnostic procedures with contrast agents: 3000 milligrams is prescribed before the coronary angiography procedure, 2000 mg – in the evening on the day of the procedure and 2000 milligrams after 8 hours;
  • to prevent the process of vascular hardening: gradually released vitamin C is prescribed in an amount of 250 mg twice a day, in combination with 90 mg of vitamin E. Such treatment usually lasts about 72 months;
  • with tyrosinemia in premature infants: 100 mg;
  • to reduce the amount of proteins in the urine in patients with the second type: 1250 milligrams of vitamin C in combination with 680 International Units of vitamin E, every day for a month;
  • in order to avoid complex pain syndrome in patients with a fracture of the bones of the hand: 0,5 grams of vitamin C for a month and a half.

Vitamin C supplements can come in different forms:

  • Ascorbic acid – in fact, the proper name of vitamin C. This is its simplest form and, most often, at the most reasonable price. However, some people note that it is not suitable for their digestive system and prefer either a milder form or one that is released in the intestines over several hours and reduces the risk of digestive upset.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – polyphenolic compounds, which are found in foods high in vitamin C. They improve its absorption when taken together.
  • Mineral ascorbates – less acidic compounds recommended for people suffering from gastrointestinal problems. Minerals with which vitamin C is combined are sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, molybdenum, chromium, manganese. These drugs are usually more expensive than ascorbic acid.
  • Ester-C®… This version of vitamin C contains mainly calcium ascorbate and vitamin C metabolites, which increase the absorption of vitamin C. Ester C is generally more expensive than mineral ascorbates.
  • Ascorbyl palmitate – a fat-soluble antioxidant that allows molecules to be better absorbed into cell membranes.

In pharmacies, vitamin C can be found in the form of tablets for swallowing, chewable tablets, drops for oral administration, soluble powder for oral administration, effervescent tablets, lyophilisate for preparation of solution for injection (intravenous and intramuscular), ready-made solution for injection, drops. Chewable tablets, drops, and powders are often available in a fruity flavor for a more palatable taste. This especially makes it easier for children to take the vitamin.

 

Application in folk medicine

First of all, traditional medicine considers vitamin C as an excellent medicine for colds. It is recommended to take a solution for influenza and ARVI, consisting of 1,5 liters of boiled water, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, juice of one lemon and 1 gram of ascorbic acid (drink within one and a half to two hours). In addition, folk recipes suggest using teas with,,. Vitamin C is advised to take for the prevention of cancer – for example, eating tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, pepper, dill and parsley. One of the sources of ascorbic acid is oregano, indicated for nervous agitation, insomnia, infections, as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent.

Latest scientific research on vitamin C

  • British scientists from the University of Salford have found that a combination of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the antibiotic doxycycline is effective against cancer stem cells in the laboratory. Professor Michael Lisanti explains: “We know that some cancer cells develop drug resistance during chemotherapy and we have been able to understand how this happens. We suspected that some cells might change their food source. That is, when one nutrient becomes unavailable due to chemotherapy, cancer cells find another source of energy. The new combination of vitamin C and doxycycline limits this process, making the cells “starve to death”. Since both substances are non-toxic by themselves, they can dramatically reduce the number of side effects compared to traditional chemotherapy.
  • Vitamin C has been shown to be effective against atrial fibrillation after heart surgery. According to researchers from the University of Helsinki, the number of post-operative fibrillation in patients who took vitamin C decreased by 44%. Also, the time spent in the hospital after surgery decreased when taking the vitamin. Note that the results were indicative in the case of intravenous administration of the drug into the body. When taken orally, the effect was significantly lower.
  • Studies carried out on laboratory mice and on tissue culture preparations indicate that taking vitamin C together with anti-tuberculosis drugs significantly reduces the duration of the course of treatment. The results of the experiment were published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy of the American Society for Microbiology. Scientists treated the disease in three ways – with anti-tuberculosis drugs, exclusively with vitamin C and their combination. Vitamin C had no visible effect on its own, but in combination with drugs such as isoniazid and rifampicin, it significantly improved the condition of infected tissues. Sterilization of tissue cultures took place over a record seven days.
  • Everyone knows that exercise is highly recommended when overweight, but, unfortunately, more than half of people do not follow this advice. However, the study presented at the 14th International Endothelin Conference may be good news for those who do not like to exercise. As it turns out, taking vitamin C daily may have similar cardiovascular benefits to regular exercise. Vitamin C can reduce the activity of the ET-1 protein, which contributes to vasoconstriction and increases the risk of heart disease. A daily intake of 500 milligrams of vitamin C has been found to improve vascular function and decrease ET-1 activity as much as a daily walk would be.

The use of vitamin C in cosmetology

One of the main effects of vitamin C, for which it is valued in cosmetology, is its ability to give youth and a toned appearance to the skin. Ascorbic acid helps to neutralize free radicals that activate skin aging, restores moisture balance and tightens fine wrinkles. If you choose the right components for the mask, then vitamin C as a cosmetic product (both natural foods and a dosage form) can be used for any type of skin.

For example, the following masks are suitable for oily skin:

  • with clay and kefir;
  • with milk and strawberries;
  • with cottage cheese, black strong tea, liquid vitamin C, etc.

Dry skin will regain its tone after masks:

  • with, a little sugar, kiwi juice and;
  • with kiwi, banana, sour cream and pink clay;
  • with vitamins E and C, honey, milk powder and orange juice.

If you have problem skin, you can try the following recipes:

  • mask with cranberry puree and honey;
  • with oatmeal, honey, vitamin C and milk slightly diluted with water.

For aging skin such masks are effective:

  • a mixture of vitamins C (in powder form) and E (from an ampoule);
  • blackberry puree and ascorbic acid powder.

You should be careful with open wounds on the skin, purulent formations, with rosacea, etc. In this case, it is better to refrain from such masks. Masks should be applied to clean and steamed skin, used immediately after preparation (in order to avoid the destruction of active components), and also apply a moisturizer and do not expose the skin to open sunlight after applying masks with ascorbic acid.

Adequate vitamin C is beneficial for the condition of the hair by improving blood circulation to the scalp and nourishing hair follicles. In addition, by eating foods rich in vitamin C, we help maintain healthy and beautiful appearance of the nail plates, preventing them from thinning and stratification. Once or twice a week, it is helpful to soak with lemon juice, which will strengthen your nails.

 

The use of vitamin C in industry

The chemical composition and properties of vitamin C provide a wide range of industrial applications. About a third of the total production is used for vitamin preparations in pharmaceutical production. The rest is mainly used as food additives and feed additives to improve the quality and stability of foods. For use in the food industry, the E-300 supplement is produced synthetically from glucose. This produces a white or light yellow powder, odorless and sour in taste, soluble in water and alcohol. Ascorbic acid added to foods during processing or before packaging protects color, flavor and nutrient content. In meat production, for example, ascorbic acid can reduce both the amount of added nitrite and the overall nitrite content of the finished product. The addition of ascorbic acid to wheat flour at the production level improves the quality of baked goods. In addition, ascorbic acid is used to increase the clarity of wine and beer, protect fruits and vegetables from browning, as well as an antioxidant in water and protect against rancidity in fats and oils.

In many countries, including European ones, ascorbic acid is not allowed to be used in the production of fresh meat. Due to its color-retaining properties, it can impart false freshness to meat. Ascorbic acid, its salts and ascorbin palmitate are safe food additives and are permitted in food production.

In some cases, ascorbic acid is used in the photography industry to develop films.

Vitamin C in crop production

L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is as important to plants as it is to animals. Ascorbic acid functions as a major redox buffer and as an additional factor for enzymes involved in the regulation of photosynthesis, hormone biosynthesis, and the regeneration of other antioxidants. Ascorbic acid regulates cell division and plant growth. Unlike the only pathway responsible for the biosynthesis of ascorbic acid in animals, plants use several pathways to synthesize ascorbic acid. Given the importance of ascorbic acid for human nutrition, several technologies have been developed to increase the content of ascorbic acid in plants by manipulating biosynthetic pathways.

Vitamin C in the chloroplasts of plants is known to help prevent the reduction in growth that plants experience when exposed to excessive amounts of light. Plants receive vitamin C for their own health. Through the mitochondria, as a response to stress, vitamin C is transported to other cellular organs, such as chloroplasts, where it is needed as an antioxidant and a coenzyme in metabolic reactions that help protect the plant.

Vitamin C in animal husbandry

Vitamin C is vital for all animals. Some of them, including humans, apes and guinea pigs, receive the vitamin from outside. Many other mammals, such as ruminants, pigs, horses, dogs, and cats, can synthesize ascorbic acid from glucose in the liver. In addition, many birds can synthesize vitamin C in the liver or kidneys. Thus, the need for its use has not been confirmed in animals that can independently synthesize ascorbic acid. However, cases of scurvy, a typical symptom of vitamin C deficiency, have been reported in calves and cows. In addition, ruminants may be more prone to vitamin deficiency than other pets when ascorbic acid synthesis is impaired because vitamin C is easily degraded in the rumen. Ascorbic acid is widely distributed in all tissues, both in animals capable of synthesizing vitamin C and in those dependent on a sufficient amount of vitamin. In experimental animals, the maximum concentration of vitamin C is found in the pituitary and adrenal glands, high levels are also found in the liver, spleen, brain and pancreas. Vitamin C also tends to be localized around healing wounds. Its level in tissues decreases with all forms of stress. Stress stimulates the biosynthesis of the vitamin in those animals that are capable of producing it.

Interesting Facts

  • The Inuit ethnic group eats very few fresh fruits and vegetables, but they do not get scurvy. This is because what they eat, such as seal meat and Arctic char (fish of the salmon family), contain vitamin C.
  • The main raw material for the production of vitamin C is or. It is synthesized through specialized companies and then into sorbitol. The pure end product is made from sorbitol after a series of biotechnical, chemical processing and purification processes.
  • When Albert Szent-Gyorgyi first isolated vitamin C, he originally called it “unknown‘(‘ignose“) or “I-don’t know-what“Sugar. The vitamin was later named Ascorbic acid.
  • Chemically, the only difference between ascorbic acid and is the one extra oxygen atom in citric acid.
  • Citric acid is mainly used for the zesty citrus flavor in soft drinks (50% of world production).

Contraindications and cautions

Vitamin C is easily destroyed by high temperatures. And because it is water-soluble, this vitamin dissolves in cooking liquids. Therefore, to get the full amount of vitamin C from foods, it is recommended to consume them raw (for example, grapefruit, lemon, mango, orange, spinach, cabbage, strawberries) or after minimal heat treatment (broccoli).

The first symptoms of a lack of vitamin C in the body are weakness and fatigue, pain in muscles and joints, rapid bruising, a rash in the form of small red-blue spots. In addition, symptoms include dry skin, swollen and discolored gums, bleeding, long wound healing, frequent colds, tooth loss, and weight loss.

Current recommendations are that vitamin C doses above 2 g per day should be avoided to prevent side effects (bloating and osmotic diarrhea). Although it is believed that excessive intake of ascorbic acid can lead to a number of problems (for example, birth defects, cancer, atherosclerosis, increased oxidative stress, kidney stones), none of these adverse health effects have been confirmed and there are no reliable scientific evidence that large amounts of vitamin C (up to 10 g / day in adults) are toxic or unhealthy. Gastrointestinal side effects are usually not serious and usually stop when high doses of vitamin C are reduced. The most common symptoms of excess vitamin C are diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal problems.

Certain medications can lower the level of vitamin C in the body: oral contraceptives, high doses of aspirin. The simultaneous intake of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and selenium can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of drugs that lower cholesterol and niacin levels. Vitamin C also interacts with aluminum, which is part of most antacids, so you need to take a break between taking them. In addition, there is some evidence that ascorbic acid may reduce the effectiveness of certain cancer drugs and.

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