Immune Booster Series: Vitamin C



We’ve all heard before that vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system, especially during cold and flu season. But why exactly?


Vitamin C is proven to decrease the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. However, it has been shown that it only does this for those who were taking vitamin C prophylactically. That means you need to have been taking Vitamin C before actually catching the virus. Consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C or investing in a quality supplement is beneficial to keep vitamin C levels where they should be!


Spread Out Your Intake!


Unfortunately, our bodies can only absorb around 500 mg of vitamin C at once when taken orally. Most supplements are 1,000 mg or more. Once our bodies reach that threshold, we excrete out the rest. Therefore, it is better to spread out our intake of vitamin C throughout the day in order to maximize absorption. Higher concentrations of vitamin C can be achieved through IV administration rather than supplementation due to the bypass of the gut.


Eat a Rainbow


Natural foods that are great sources of vitamin C include guava, red peppers, green peppers, grapefruit, cantaloupe, papaya, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Studies have shown that just 200 mg of vitamin C per day consecutively maximizes blood and tissue concentrations. This is why it is so important to have a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables every single day!




Who should have a higher vitamin C intake?


There are certain populations that should aim for a higher vitamin C intake. This includes the elderly, type 2 diabetics and smokers due to increased utilization of the nutrient. If you are prone to kidney stones, it is even more important for you to spread out the dosage of vitamin C throughout the day because high doses (1,000 mg or more) of vitamin C can result in the formation of kidney stones.


Resources:


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495002

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769668/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/


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