The A-B-C's of Vitamin Supplements
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is an antioxidant essential for tissue growth and repair. The body cannot produce vitamin C, and since it is water-soluble and not stored, it must be obtained from food and supplements.
Ascorbic acid is necessary to produce collagen; a protein needed to make tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and skin. It may help to heal wounds, repair cartilage, mend bones, and aid the body in absorbing iron. Vitamin C may help to prevent certain types of cancer.
Additionally, vitamin C may aid in adrenal gland function (antistress hormone production), protect against the effects of pollution (used by the liver to help detoxify the body), increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), and lower blood pressure.
There is conflicting evidence about vitamin C’s ability to prevent colds.
Sources of Vitamin C
Some of the best food sources include orange juice, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe, green peppers, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and tomatoes. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables insures the highest vitamin C content.
Vitamin C comes in many forms: capsules, tablets (chewable, effervescent), powdered crystalline, and liquid. Dosages range from 25 mg to 1,000 mg. Ascorbic acid is also available buffered to protect the stomach.
Although vitamin C is basically non-toxic, high doses (in excess of 2,000 mg daily) may cause diarrhea and stomach discomfort.
- If prescription medication is taken on a regular basis, and before exceeding the recommended daily allowance, consult with a medical professional.
- Certain prescription medications taken to treat diabetes medications and sulfa drugs may not be as effective if taken with vitamin C.
- Aspirin and vitamin C taken together in large doses may result in stomach irritation.
- Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron in food and supplement forms.
- Vitamin C interferes with the copper absorption.
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.