We all associate vitamin C with getting a cold, and even with skin creams and anti-aging serums, but this powerful antioxidant does countless critical functions in the body. That’s why I am a fan of supplementing with high dose Vitamin C for most of the year.
It is an essential component to our diet, but are we getting enough of it to see these benefits?
While the RDA remains low, almost every study on Vitamin C shows benefits for specific conditions at doses of 500 to 2,000 mg. This is partially why most supplemental vitamin C comes in higher doses.
By the way, Vitamin C is water-soluble so if you consume more than your body can absorb at any one time, it is carried out by water in your bladder and colon. Those with kidney disease or a history of kidney stones should stay away from long term doses above 1,000 mg and should look for food-based supplements instead of the common ascorbic acid form of Vitamin C found in most supplements. Negative effects of high dose Vitamin C are only found with ascorbic acid supplementation, so those with kidney issues should not shy away from foods rich in Vitamin C.
The good news is, vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods that are part of our typical diet, and you can get a good amount of vitamin C without altering your lifestyle. Fresh produce consumed daily is the key to maintaining adequate vitamin C intake. Load up on citrus fruits, tropical fruits, berries, melons, and vegetables like kale, sweet potatoes, red and green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.
There are lots of ways of getting a good amount of vitamin C in your everyday diet, but when does it make sense to supplement?
The good news is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to bump up your vitamin C levels, and supplementing vitamin C does not make it harder for your body to absorb as long as you’re taking smaller doses (around 100 mg per pill is the easiest for your body to absorb.) Supplementing your vitamin C can be a fantastic way to support your immune system and your overall health without breaking the bank, and it’s an easy way to do something kind for your body today!
—> Bottom Line: If you are eating multiple servings of fruits and vegetables daily and are generally healthy then you probably don’t need to take a Vitamin C supplement. However, with most Americans living with a chronic disease, immune, heart or detoxification issues, and eating a poor diet, I recommend Vitamin C supplementation to cover your bases, at least in the winter.