Vitamin C is an important source of nutrients and is very essential for our growth. How much should one take is a very common query. The amount of Vitamin C that needs to be taken varies from person to person on the bases of the intensity of its deficiency also keeping in mind the person’s medical history. Vitamin C can be obtained from food and other sources. Good sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from a diet high in fruits and vegetables rather than using supplements. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh-frozen concentrate is a better pick than ready-to-drink orange juice. The fresh juice contains more active vitamin C. It can be used to sure infections and most commonly people use vitamin C on their skin to protect it against the sun, pollutants, and other environmental hazards.

Uses;
Effective for:

Wrinkled skin. Skin creams containing vitamin C seems to improve wrinkles in facial skin aged by sun exposure.

Reducing the risk of certain cancers of the mouth and breast. This only works when fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are eaten, not with vitamin C supplements.

-Treating the common cold. There is a lot of controversy about the effectiveness of vitamin C for treating the common cold. However, the majority of evidence shows that taking high doses of vitamin C might shorten the course of the cold by 1 to 1.5 days in some patients. But it is not effective for preventing the common cold.

Lowering high blood pressure. Taking vitamin C along with conventional high blood pressure medications appears to decrease systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by a small amount, but does not seem to decrease diastolic pressure. Taking vitamin C supplements alone, though, doesn’t seem to affect blood pressure.

Preventing sunburn. Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E seems to prevent sunburn. But taking vitamin C alone doesn’t prevent sunburn.

Reducing the risk of gallbladder disease. There is some evidence that taking vitamin C might help to prevent gallbladder disease in women. But vitamin C doesn’t seem to have this effect in men.

Slowing the worsening of osteoarthritis. Obtaining vitamin C from dietary sources seems to prevent cartilage loss and worsening of symptoms in people with osteoarthritis.

Treating ulcers in the stomach caused by bacteria called H. pylori. Taking vitamin C seems to decrease some of the side effects caused by treatment. After H. pylori bacteria are killed, vitamin C appears to decrease the occurrence of precancerous changes in stomach tissue.

Improving physical performance and strength in the elderly.

Ineffective for;

-Preventing the common cold.
-Reducing the risk of stroke.
-Preventing eye disease associated with a medicine called interferon.
-Reduce skin problems in people who suffer from chemo radiations.
-Preventing pancreatic cancer.
-Preventing type 2 diabetes.

Dosage:
By Mouth:

-For scurvy: 100-250 mg once or twice daily for several days.
-For treating the common cold: 1-3 grams daily.
-For preventing kidney damage related to contrast media used during diagnostic tests:
-For slowing progression of hardening of the arteries: slow-release vitamin C 250 mg in   combination with 91 mg of vitamin E twice daily for up to 6 years.
-For preventing complex regional pain syndrome in patients with wrist fractures, Vitamin C 500 mg daily for 50 days.

The daily recommended dietary allowances:

-Infants 0 to 12 months, human milk content
-Children 1 to 3 years, 15 mg;
-Children 4 to 8 years, 25 mg;
-Children 9 to 13 years, 45 mg;
-Adolescents 14 to 18 years, 75 mg for boys and 65 mg for girls; –
-Adults age 19 and greater, 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women;
-Pregnancy and Lactation: age 18 or younger, 115 mg;
-Ages 19 to 50 years 120 mg. People who use tobacco should take an additional 35 mg – per day.

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

Most topical preparations used for aged or wrinkled skin are applied daily. Studies have used creams containing 5% to 10% vitamin C. In one study a specific vitamin C formulation used 3 drops applied daily to areas of facial skin. Don’t apply vitamin C preparations to the eye or eyelids. Also avoid contact with hair or clothes. It can cause discoloration. This topical application of vitamin C is very essential to counter the aging and degradation of the skin due to exposure to environmental pollutants.

Side Effects of  Vitamin C intake:

Vitamin C is relatively safe when taken by mouth in prescribed doses. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, indigestion and other side effects. The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Amounts higher than 2000 mg per day are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause a lot of side effects, including kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, amounts greater than 1000 mg per day greatly increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amount of 120 mg/day. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby.

Angioplasty, a heart procedure: Avoid supplements containing vitamin C or other antioxidant vitamins immediately before and following angioplasty. These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.

Cancer: Cancerous cells collect high concentrations of vitamin C. Only high doses vitamin C are advised under the direction of your oncologist.

Blood-iron disorders, including conditions called “thalassemia” and “hemochromatosis”: Vitamin C can increase iron absorption, which might make these conditions worse. Avoid large amounts of vitamin C.

Kidney stones, or a history of  kidney stones: Large amounts of vitamin C can increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C in amounts greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

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