Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a powerful antioxidant. It has a number of other functions within the body, as well, and it’s essential to good health.
What Can Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin C, which can be difficult to obtain through diet alone, can help:
- Aid in the absorption of iron
- Decrease total cholesterol and LDL
- Help delay or prevent cataracts
- Help neutralize the effects of nitrites
- Prevent scurvy
- Protect against free radicals
- Protect against heart disease
- Reduce triglycerides
- Repair and regenerate tissues in the body
- Support healthy immune function
There is some evidence that vitamin C can lessen the duration and symptoms of the common cold, as well.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include:
- Bleeding gums
- Joint and muscle aches
- Leg rashes
- Muscle weakness
Recommended Vitamin C Dosages from the National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults and children take in a certain amount of vitamin C each day.
- Men: 90 mg per day
- Women: 75 mg per day
- Pregnant women: 85 mg per day
- Breastfeeding women: 120 mg per day
- Infants 0 to 6 months old: 40 mg per day
- Children 4 to 8 years old: 25 mg per day
- Children 9 to 13 years old: 45 mg per day
- Male teens: 75 mg per day
- Female teens: 65 mg per day