What are the benefits of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect our body’s important molecules such as proteins, lipids (fats), nucleic acids (DNA & RNA) from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of many of our body’s structural components (e.g. blood vessels, skin, tendons, ligaments, etc.). Vitamin C intake has been positively linked in many studies to the maintenance of good health. The RDA for vitamin C, which has recently been raised to 75 mg for females and 90 mg for males, is often thought to be insufficient to provide purported health benefits and the average American consumes less than needed for these benefits through diet alone, making vitamin C supplementation common. Humans are one of the very few mammals that cannot produce vitamin C so it must be supplied from diet or supplements. There is evidence that vitamin C supplementation at doses between 500-2000mgs/day may be beneficial to highly stressed individuals including athletes, soldiers and exercisers. Vitamin C may reduce exercise-induced oxidative changes, muscle soreness and damage. Additionally, in highly physically stressed subjects vitamin C supplementation significantly decreased the incidence and duration of colds. Recently, vitamin C demonstrated a dose-dependent relationship in attenuating exercise-induced cortisol and other anti-inflammatory markers of exercise damage, suggesting a positive role in the recovery process. At this time we recommend your vitamin C intake to be from foods and your daily multivitamin and mineral formula containing 250-900mgs of vitamin C (higher range for athletes). However, if you are taking more than 300-400mgs/day, you should split the dose: half with a morning meal and half with an evening meal, since the body can’t absorb too much more than 250mgs at a time. All the Sharecare approved MVM formulas in the Sharecare Fitness Application have our proper recommended amounts of daily vitamin C.

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