All about Vitamin C

As a Nutritionist, we work with numerous conditions that require supplementation of different vitamins and minerals and one of them is vitamin C. Vitamin C is obtained from the food we eat. It is so important for many things, some I will chat about here and also give you some food options to boost your vitamin C intake and some tips to boost the absorption of specific vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is also considered an antioxidant, I talk more about antioxidants and why they are important in a recent post here.

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In todays society, supplements are becoming increasingly popular which is a worry because supplements cannot be absorbed into the body as well as the vitamins and minerals we get from eating whole foods themselves. For example, an iron tablet containing the same amount of iron as a small piece of red meat will not be absorbed at the same rate or the same amount as the iron in the meat. How is this so?

Firstly, the iron contained within the meat is bound together and surrounded by all the necessary enzymes and co-factors which are required by the body to all work together to boost the absorption of the iron into the body. The tablet form of iron often does not contain these enzymes and cofactors and therefore the body has to work harder to get the iron across the intestinal lumen and into the body and often if an enzyme or cofactor is missing it wont be possible to get it through and therefore it is eliminated even though the body needs it. Some supplements also claim to contain these cofactors but they are an inactive form.

Secondly, when are minerals such as iron are eaten in a meal for example with red meat is eaten in a meal with vegetables the vitamins and minerals in those vegetables will also provide extra enzymes and cofactors to boost the absorption of iron. Vitamin C in particular in the presence of iron will capture it and store it in a more absorbable form which makes it easier for the body to absorb and boosts the absorption rate significantly.

Vitamin C enhances immune function by protecting the white blood cells (immune defence cells within the body) from oxidative damage. It actually enhances the absorption of iron from meat when eaten together which is really important when trying to increase iron levels or if you are anaemic (iron deficient).

The daily Estimated Average Requirements of vitamin C in different age groups is listed below, this data is retrieved from nrv.gov.au website linked. 

To put these values in perspective, if you consume 1 orange or 200ml of pure orange juice- no added sugar, this gives you approximately 50mg of vitamin C. Click here to check out my post on seeds to find out which ones contain the most vitamin C which is easy to add into the diet!

AgeEARRDI
All
1-3 yr25 mg/day35 mg/day
4-8 yr25 mg/day35 mg/day
Boys
9-13 yr28 mg/day40 mg/day
14-18 yr28 mg/day40 mg/day
Girls
9-13 yr28 mg/day40 mg/day
14-18 yr28 mg/day40 mg/day
Men
19-30 yr30 mg/day45 mg/day
Women
19-30 yr30 mg/day45 mg/day

EAR= Estimated Average Requirement, RDI= Recommended Dietary Intake

Studies have actually shown supplementing with vitamin C when you feel cold symptoms coming along can reduce the cold by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Some examples of high vitamin C foods are listed in my next post, released tomorrow!

Make sure to subscribe to the mailing list on the side of the post, so you don’t miss any future posts and as always if you have any questions related to anything nutrition/exercise be sure to contact me– I am always happy to help!

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2 thoughts on “All about Vitamin C

  1. Pingback: The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds you should Include in your Diet and Why

  2. Pingback: Iron-rich food - EK Online Nutrition

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