Vi­ta­min C in­take key to good health

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

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

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