Vitamin C (also referred to as Ascorbic Acid) is a vitamin that is soluble in water and a very strong anti-oxidant. It is majorly found in vegetables and fruits, and plays an important role in the formation of connective tissues in the body. It’s also available in the form of supplements.
Importance of Vitamin C
This vitamin is important in repairing and regeneration of tissues, preventing heart diseases, absorption of iron, and protecting the body against scurvy, ��bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.
How much Vitamin C does the body need?
The following are recommendations of nutritionists and health experts regarding the ideal consumption of Vitamin C:
– For men, 90 mg every day
– For women, 75 mg daily
– For children, 35 mg every day
– For breastfeeding women, 125 mg every day
– For expectant women, 85mg daily
Sources of Vitamin C
The following are some of the sources of this Vitamin; oranges, potatoes, green and red pepper, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, broccoli and black currants, among others.
According to a recent research conducted by British nutrition experts, too much Vitamin C is dangerous to the body. The research indicates that consumption of more than 500 mg of this vitamin within 24 hours may damage the body’s genes.
According to these experts who work with the University of Leicester, consumption of more than 500mg of Vitamin C within a day has serious pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant effects on the consumer’s DNA.
The researchers discovered that upon consumption of more than 500 mg of the vitamin, the result is an increased number of free radicals generated from iron in the body, which damage the genetic composition of the DNA, especially the adenine bases. Excess Vitamin C usually mobilizes the (harmless) ferric irons that have been stored in the body, and converts them (harmless irons) into very harmful ferrous irons, resulting in serious damage to important body organs such as the heart.
Vitamin C that is naturally found in foods such as oranges has no oxidizing effects, while the Vitamin C present in supplements has both pre-oxidizing and anti-oxidizing effects.
Excessive consumption of Vitamin C has been linked to genetic damage for more than 40 years. In a research study conducted in 1975, the researchers discovered that excessive consumption led to damage of the genetic material in live mice, bacterial cells and also in human tissues grown in test tubes.
Side Effects of Excess Vitamin C
The following are common side effects that occur as a result of excess intake of Vitamin C; diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, redness of skin and headache, among others.