vitamin C, aka L-ascorbic acid, is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and is also available as a dietary supplement, explains National Institutes of Health—but do you know what happens to your body by taking vitamin C daily? According to Darren Marenis, MD, FACEP, emergency medicine physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, vitamins are essential to every diet — and it’s important to know what taking vitamin C every day does to your body. “Vitamin C is naturally present in many foods and is not synthesized by the body,” he explains. Eat This, Not That! Health. “It must be swallowed.” Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cantaloupe, potatoes, strawberries and spinach. However, some people prefer to take it as a supplement. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t forget to check out these 19 Ways You’re Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts.
“Vitamin C is an essential component of connective tissue and plays a role in wound healing,” Dr. Marinis says.
Dr. Marinis explains that vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means they can help prevent cell damage. Therefore, it can help prevent health problems where oxidative stress plays a role.
Dr. Marinis explains that vitamin C is “essential for the biosynthesis of collagen.” This is why it is a key ingredient in many skincare products.
According to the NIH, there is a lot of research supporting that vitamin C may help keep cancer at bay. “Most case-control studies have found an inverse association between dietary vitamin C intake and cancers of the lung, breast, colon or rectum, stomach, oral cavity, larynx or pharynx, and esophagus,” they reveal.
According to the NIH, there is some evidence that vitamin C may help keep heart disease at bay. one of the largest studiesMore than 85,000 women found that consuming vitamin C in both dietary and supplement form was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Others have found that it can reduce the risk of stroke.
The NIH also provides compelling evidence that vitamin C may help prevent and even treat age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, two leading causes of vision loss in older people.
According to NIH and Dr. Marinis, acute vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy. “It’s very rare in developed countries,” he explains. Symptoms of scurvy can appear within a month of vitamin C deficiency. Early symptoms include fatigue, malaise and swelling in the gym. However, the condition can worsen to include depression, bleeding gums, and loosening and loss of teeth. If left untreated it can be fatal.
Vitamin C is generally considered as an immunity booster. However, the NIH states that it may not be as effective in preventing colds as you would think. Vitamin C can help shorten the duration of the common cold, says Dr. Marinis. The NIH explains, “Vitamin C supplements may shorten the duration of the common cold and reduce the severity of symptoms in the general population” possibly due to the anti-histamine effect of high-dose vitamin C.
While vitamin C has low toxicity and, therefore, does not cause serious adverse effects at high intakes, however, it can cause gastrointestinal disturbances – including diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps.
There is some conflicting evidence that high amounts of vitamin C may “increase the excretion of urinary oxalate and uric acid” which may contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. One Study found that just 100mg of vitamin C can improve the absorption of the blood-building mineral by up to 67%. For yourself, consider whether you are getting enough vitamin C, and to live your healthy life, Do not take this supplement, which may increase your risk of cancer.