Vitamin C Functions, Benefits, & Overdosing Side Effects

by Symptom Advice on May 7, 2011

Otherwise known as L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate, vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant. it protects the body against oxidative stress and plays a vital role in at least eight enzymatic reactions. These reactions include collagen synthesis reactions, which if missing, are capable of causing the most severe symptoms of scurvy.

Vitamin C is essential for many metabolic reactions in the body. Deficiency is detrimental to the function of the immune system but, contrary to popular belief, is not thought capable of reducing the duration or severity of the common cold in the general population. However, research has suggested that regular vitamin C intake can reduce the frequency of the common cold in an individual, and three further research analyses have shown that the duration of a common cold can be reduced by regular vitamin C intake by 8% for adults and 14% for children. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. A study conducted in 1992 over a one week period found that taking 2 grams of vitamin C per day lowered blood histamine levels by 38 percent in healthy adults.

Suggested RDI varies from 45 to 95 mg/day, but is often ignored and thought outdated. This is because recommended mega-doses go well beyond that figure and recommend between 200mg-2000mg per day. This modern day approach to vitamin C concentrates on the fact that like other primates, humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and therefore require an intake parallel to that of their biological cousins. Modern high dosage can also be attributed to a holistic belief that the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C are capable of reducing illness, and therefore vitamin C should be considered a complimentary therapy to modern medicine.

Vitamin C is low in toxicity and therefore humans aren’t likely to accidently overdose. it would take a 150 pound human to consume 1.8 pounds of vitamin C to cause death.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: