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Vitamin C: benefits, contraindications and advices

Vitamin C: benefits, contraindications and advices

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential water-soluble vitamin. Water soluble vitamin means "not accumulable by the body and therefore to be taken daily with food".

Entry into the body occurs from the outside: humans are unable to synthesize it independently due to the lack of the enzyme L-glucono-gamma-lactone-oxidase, the last enzyme of the biosynthetic chain that leads from glucose to 'ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C introduced with food is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine mucosa (digestive system) through a passive diffusion process and that which is not stored is eliminated in the urine. Absorption is almost complete at low doses, while at higher doses absorption decreases.

Vitamin C: where to find it

Vitamin C is widely diffused in raw or undercooked fresh foods of vegetable origin; particularly rich are citrus fruits, kiwis, peppers, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables. The richest in nature in vitamin C are acerola and rose hips.

Vitamin C: functions

Physiological vitamin C has fundamental functions, as it is involved in numerous biochemical passages and "key" enzymatic activities. For example, vitamin C:

- contributes to the absorption of ferrous ions (and therefore vitamin C facilitates the absorption of iron); participates in the synthesis of folate; participates in redox reactions and intervenes in various processes mediated by hydroxylase and oxygenase (antioxidant action);

- stimulates the synthesis of collagen;

- promotes the synthesis of catecholamines (hormones secreted by the adrenal gland; the most important: adrenaline, norepinephrine, dopamine);

- participates in the immune response by inducing the activation of macrophages and lymphocytes.

Vitamin C deficiency: symptoms

Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy and is generally caused by bad eating habits. For adults, the minimum intake of vitamin C to prevent scurvy is 10 mg / day (the minimum recommended quantity, however, must be higher than the one just mentioned!).

A deficiency of vitamin C has been found in the pathomechanism of many dermatopathies. For example, certain skin consequences related to the deficiency of vitamin C are well known, such as alterations of the healing processes, aggravation of acne lesions, follicular hyperkeratosis (first skin lesion from scurvy, followed by petechiae and extensive bruising from capillary fragility), aphthous stomatitis, and so on.

Other symptoms of scurvy, linked to the deficiency of vitamin C, are: apathy, anemia and loss of appetite, muscle pain, bleeding gums and falling teeth. A deficiency of vitamin C would also expose us to a reduced protection of the organism from oxidations caused by free radicals, responsible for the aging of the tissues and for many degenerative processes connected to it, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive dysfunctions.

Excess of vitamin C: contraindications and symptoms

The maximum daily dose of Vitamin C which presumably does not create toxicity problems in a healthy individual has been estimated to be over 1000 mg (do not exceed 2000 mg if diet and supplementation are included). Those who take anticoagulants at the same time must take into account that ascorbic acid decreases the effects of these drugs.

Exceeding the maximum dose there are contraindications for vitamin C: an excess intake of vitamin C, due to an unbalanced diet or an abuse of supplements, can lead to symptoms such as headache, heartburn, gastritis and abdominal cramps, but also weakness, dizziness and sudden hot flashes, vomiting, diarrhea.

An excess of pure vitamin C, beyond the maximum recommended doses, can also generate kidney problems (as it significantly increases the urinary excretion of oxalates), with the formation of stones, and record a high concentration of iron in the blood (the vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron).

Vitamin C requirement and side effects

The recommended daily dose (RDA) of vitamin C according to the Ministry of Health is 80 mg per day. In pregnancy the need for vitamin C is slightly higher. As for vitamin C supplements, according to the directives of the Ministry of Health, the daily dosage cannot exceed 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid (one gram per day).

Many do not know, however, that vitamin C has side effects even if taken at pharmacologically active dosages: pure ascorbic acid can in fact cause gastric burning and, if not correctly conveyed, it is not stable undergoing oxidation processes. This is why, to improve gastric tolerance, on the market in addition to pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid), ascorbic acid salified with minerals (generally potassium, sodium or calcium) can be found, giving rise to their salts (ascorbates). In this case, sodium ascorbate contains 889 mg of ascorbic acid and 111 mg of sodium, potassium ascorbate 825 mg of ascorbic acid and 175 mg of potassium, while calcium ascorbate 886 mg of ascorbic acid and 114 mg. of football.

However, for those taking high doses of vitamin C should avoid sodium ascorbate in case of hypertension or low sodium diet, potassium ascorbate in case of kidney disease or if in therapy with antialdosteronic diuretics, while calcium ascorbate ( if taken no more than the dose of 2000 mg total per day between diet and supplementation) it would have no particular side effects or contraindications, not even for those suffering from kidney stones, and would also be useful for bones.

The best Vitamin C: chemistry recommends ...

Vitamin C is available in many forms and dosages, but we at Erboristeria Como believe we have selected the best Vitamin C among all: vitamin C 1000 fast, a special vitamin C in tablets.

To overcome the problems of bioavailability and tolerability of pure ascorbic acid (classic vitamin C), vitamin C 1000 fast is based on Ester C and is a patented vitamin with prolonged absorption and above all with high tolerability that is obtained through an extraction process on an aqueous basis, making ascorbic acid react with calcium carbonate to give rise to calcium ascorbate. The scientific research for the preparation of Vitamin C 1000 fast does not stop there: the excess of carbonate is reacted successively with threonic acid to form the calcium ascorbate threonate or "ester C", a natural metabolite of vitamin C that influences the transport and therefore absorption.

The benefits of vitamin C 1000 fast Ester C over classic vitamin C?

- vitamin C1000 fast Ester C has a neutral pH and therefore does not irritate the gastrointestinal tract, and being in the form of its metabolite (threonate), it has a significantly better absorption inside the cell (Ester C provides threonate which helps vitamin C uptake by cells, Fay & Verlangieri 1991). Vitamin C1000 fast Ester C therefore has a high bioavailability (4 times higher than the classic vitamin C) and tolerability;

- the vitamin C1000 fast Ester C remains inside the leukocytes for 24 hours unlike the classic Vitamin C, which was eliminated after 8 hours, therefore the classic vitamin C is not indicated to strengthen the immune system as opposed to Ester C which instead strengthens the immune system.

Vitamin C: benefits of vitamin C 1000 fast

Vitamin C 1000 fast Ester C is a vitamin C in tablets, gluten-free and naturally lactose-free, equal to 500 mg of vitamin C (from Ester C).

One tablet per day of Vitamin C1000 gives these benefits:

- protects cells from oxidative stress (especially useful for those who live and work in polluted environments),

- promotes normal function of the immune system,

- integrates the need for vitamin C also for elderly people and smokers,

- guarantees the well-being of the skin and bones and in particular of the cartilage.

Two tablets of vitamin C 1000 fast per day for 30 days are used to strengthen the immune system.

Dr. Laura Comollo

Visit our herbal department for any clarification or for more information.