What is it?
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin which is found in vegetables and fresh fruits especially citrus fruits. It is required by our body for the proper function and development of many parts of our body and to sustain a proper immune system.
There are ongoing research conducted to prove that it is effective for patient with vitamin c deficiency, aid absorption of iron, effective in tyrosinemia (genetic disorder in neonates), age related macular degeneration, reduce risk of atherosclerosis, reduce risk of cancers like mouth cancer, reduce skin redness post laser aesthetic procedure, improves hemolytic anemia, improves lead poisoning, improves physical performance, when taken with vitamin E prevents sunburn but no effect when taken alone and improves wrinkles.
More randomized controlled research studies need to be conducted to prove other proclaimed benefits.
Possible side effects
At normal dosing it is likely safe for most people including children, pregnant and lactating woman. It is unsafe to take high doses of vitamin C of more than 2000 mg daily.
Some possible side effects include nausea, abdomen cramps, heartburn, vomiting and headache.
Antacids: Vitamin C will reduce the absorption of antacids hence it should be taken two hours apart.
Estrogens: Vitamin C reduces the breakdown of estrogens hence increasing their side effects.
HIV medications: Vitamin C may reduce the effectiveness HIV medications.
Warfarin: Vitamin C reduces the effectiveness of warfarin and increases the risk of blood clotting.
According to scientific research on Vitamin C dosing :
For scurvy: 100-250 mg once or twice daily for several days
To reduce kidney damage from contrast media used during diagnostic scans: vitamin C 3 grams is given before the procedure and then 2 grams is given after the procedure in the evening and again the following morning.
For treating the common flu: 1-3 grams daily.
For tyrosinemia in premature infants on high protein diets: 100 mg of vitamin C.
The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are:
Infants 0 to 12 months: normal 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 smokes need an additional 35 mg per day.