Vitamin C intake key to good health
WHETHER you’re stressed, tired, or exposed to other factors like smoking, pollution, certain medications or endurance sports, your vitamin C intake may not be sufficient for your needs.
Florence Hanczyk – a homeopathy doctor in Paris, France, specialising in chrono nutrition – advises taking vitamin C combined with other vitamins and minerals (E,A, zinc, and selenium) to make it less toxic for the body.
She also recommends sticking to a daily intake of 500 milligrams unless you have a particularly active lifestyle.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that the body gets from food and from dietary supplements. Smokers, for example, have a greater need for vitamin C. Moreover, an acidifying diet of the “steak-fries-coffee-cigarettes” kind leads to vitamin C deficiency, which can cause fatigue, increased risk of infection and poor sleep.
Being tired for no reason, having cold after cold for months, gums that bleed, skin that marks easily with bruises at the slightest bump, and allergies that flare up intensely and more frequently, can all be warning signs of vitamin C deficiency.
Best kind of vitamin C Synthetic or natural? A 2013 study found no significant difference in terms of absorption between so-called ‘synthetic’ vitamin C and natural forms of vitamin C such as acerola ( top, right) – a small red fruit native to South America.
It’s important to check a product’s composition and avoid those that contain additives and sweeteners, as they can disrupt sleep. Synthetic vitamin C is much cheaper to produce than natural vitamins, making it more affordable to buy.
Vitamin C as supplements A diet including plenty of fresh, seasonal fruit (oranges, kiwis, lemons, guavas, blackcurrants) and vegetables can be sufficient, but freshly harvested, ripe and seasonal fruit isn’t always readily available. Nutrient levels are highest when fruit is ripe, but they drop with storage time.
On the other hand, anyone who is stressed, overworked, lives in a city or a polluted environment, is a smoker or lives with smokers, or who takes certain medications or exercises regularly – particularly endurance sports – will have vitamin C requirements that exceed their intake.
The right dosage Be cautious with vitamin C and avoid taking it alone in high doses.
This antioxidant vitamin can become harmful in the presence of other antioxidants.
It’s best to look for a supplement that combines vitamin C with vitamins E, A, zinc and selenium, always in moderate doses for a regular treatment, with a maximum 500 milligrams per day for sedentary lifestyles or one gram per day for keen exercisers.
It is the combination of these vitamins and minerals that will ensure the desired effect. – AFP-Relaxnews