Orange Slices

There are thousands of studies discussing vitamin C – we know quite a bit about this vitamin, but it’s always worth reviewing the latest scientific information. It’s important to keep your work force up to date too. You can achieve this by hosting a nutrition workshop for your company.

How many of us are reminded to drink/eat plenty oranges when we’ve got a cold – but did you know orange isn’t the best source of vitamin C, others are better. Here’s a list of the best food sources of vitamin C:

  • 141mg – 1/2 cup red pepper
  • 70mg – 1 medium orange
  • 58mg – 1/2 cup cooked broccoli
  • 50mg – 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 41mg – 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 40mg – 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 26mg – medium size bake potato baked
  • 23mg – medium sized tomato

The human body can’t make its own vitamin C so we need to get it from our diet, and as it’s water soluble it means we don’t store it so we need to consume it regularly.

It’s important for formation of collagen – who doesn’t want younger looking skin? Vitamin C helps collagen to form and is also involved in blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments. It may also be helpful converting cholesterol to bile acids which is important for proper digestive function.

It’s also one of the major antioxidants which help keep us young – protecting our DNA from toxins e.g. smoking. It’s also great are helping to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E. You may not have realised but it was this humble vitamin which banished scurvy (bruising easily, bleeding gums, losing teeth, hair loss).

Large doses of vitamin C have been found to reduce the severity and duration of colds (Johnson CS 1994).

The most common form of vitamin C supplement is Ascorbic Acid which can be quite acidic to the digestive system for some people. Magnesium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate are gentler forms of vitamin C.

Dose

According to NHS, adults (aged 19-64) need 40mg day, 0-10 year olds 30mg day, and 11-18 year olds 35mg day.

Safety

In very large doses vitamin C can have dangerous effects including, diarrhoea, birth defects, cancer, kidney stones, excess iron absorption, B12 deficiency, erosion of teeth enamel.

Some medications can also lower vitamin C levels including; oestrogen containing contraception medication, frequent aspirin digestion. Caution also with blood thinning medication such as Warfarin.

A reminder:

  • The information in this article is for educational purposes and should not replace medical advice.
  • The information is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
  • If you have a diagnosed medical condition, you should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and;
  • Some supplements may interact with medications and you should check with your GP before commencing any supplement programme.

Sources:

Higdon, J. An Evidence Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals. 2003.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/

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