There are so many ads on radio, TV, magazines and so on about Vitamin C, most people just hold on to whatever pet theory they happen to believe about the benefits of MORE vitamin C in the diet.
There are two excellent sources on the web about various medical topics. One is the Mayo Clinic and the other is WebMD.com. These are maintained by authoritative medical people who are not trying to sell you some new solution to live longer, lose weight and make us all young again.
MANY OTHER SITES are simply disguised ads which are NOT based on actual research but simply believing the words of a super salesperson whose “commercial” is going to make him a LOT of money.
So CAN YOU TAKE TOO MUCH VITAMIN C? Here is what the Mayo Clinic writer says:
Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?
Answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient. Still, it’s possible to have too much vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that supports normal growth and development. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron. Because your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, it’s important to include vitamin C in your diet.
For most people, a large orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper or broccoli provide enough vitamin C for the day. Any extra vitamin C will simply be flushed out of your body in your urine.
For adults, the recommended dietary reference intake for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day, and the upper limit is 2,000 mg a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements may cause:
- Abdominal bloating and cramps
- Kidney stones
Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.
Can vitamin C improve your mood?
Answers from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Studies of hospitalized patients — who often have lower than normal vitamin C levels — have found that they experienced an improvement in mood after they received vitamin C.
The link between vitamin C and mood may seem surprising, but it’s not so far-fetched. People who have vitamin C deficiency often feel fatigued or depressed. Plus, some studies show that vitamin C can have mood-elevating effects. So it makes sense that vitamin C levels could affect mood — but more research is needed.
In the meantime, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. If you also take a supplement, try not to exceed the upper limit of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. As always, talk to your doctor first before taking any supplement.
From WebMD.com we have these articles about Vitamin C
The Benefits of Vitamin C
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD,
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on January 07, 2010
What can vitamin C do for your health?
Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it’s thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.
“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,” says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. “The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.”
“But,” Moyad notes, “the ideal dosage may be higher than the recommended dietary allowance.”
How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?
Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet before taking supplements.
“Strive to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, because you will get a healthy dose of vitamin C along with an abundance of other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are good for disease prevention and overall health,” she says.
While a cup of orange juice or a half-cup of red pepper would be enough to meet your RDA for Vitamin C, here are all the foods and beverages you’d need to consume to reach 500 milligrams (mg):
- Cantaloupe, 1 cup (8 ounces): 59mg
- Orange juice, 1 cup: 97mg
- Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 74mg
- Red cabbage, 1/2 cup: 40mg
- Green pepper, 1/2 cup, 60mg
- Red pepper, 1/2 cup, 95mg
- Kiwi, 1 medium: 70mg
- Tomato juice, 1 cup: 45mg.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
According to recent research, vitamin C may offer health benefits in these areas:
1. Stress . “A recent meta-analysis showed vitamin C was beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress — a condition which is very common in our society,” says Moyad. And, he adds, “because vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, and [is] the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals, it makes it an ideal marker for overall health.”
2. Colds. When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C may not be a cure. But some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications. “There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections,” says Moyad.
3. Stroke. Although research has been conflicting, one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. The reasons for this are not completely clear. But what is clear is that people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C.
- Improve macular degeneration.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin C’s Role in the Body
How to Get More Vitamin C in Your Diet
This antioxidant super-nutrient is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Yet, according to dietary intake data and the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, most adults don’t get enough vitamin C in their diets. This is especially true of smokers and non-Hispanic black males, according to research done by Jeff Hampl, PhD, RD, and colleagues at the University of Arizona.
The foods richest in vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Other good sources include dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, winter squash, and pineapples.
Here are eight easy ways to work more fruits and veggies into your diet each day:
- Add pureed or grated fruits and veggies to recipes for muffins, meatloaf, and soups.
- Keep cut-up fruits and veggies on hand so they are ready for a quick snack.
- Frozen fruit slices make a cool summer treat.
- Include dark lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded broccoli slaw on all your sandwiches and wraps.
- Eat raw veggies with hummus, low-fat dips, and salsas.
- Add fresh or frozen berries to muffins, pancakes, cereal, and salads.
- Throw a handful of dried fruit on top of your cereal or in a baggie with nuts for an easy snack.
- Enjoy a glass of vegetable juice as a filling and low-calorie mid-afternoon snack.
The bottom line? “There is no one silver bullet vitamin, mineral, or nutrient,” says Sandquist. “It is all about the big picture. And eating a varied diet rich in all the nutrients is the best strategy for good health.”