When it comes to having a cold, vitamin C is the best weapon to both prevent and fight against it. So why is vitamin C so important and can your genes really influence how much you need? Let’s take a closer look.
What is vitamin C?
So basically, vitamin C is essential for growth and repair of tissues, such as collagen. It is also needed for wound healing, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C plays a vital role as an antioxidant, which has a protective function against aging and certain diseases such as cancer.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency?
Chronic, severe deficiency results in a disease known as scurvy which has symptoms such as brown spots on the skin, easy bruising and impaired wound healing, loss of teeth and bone pain. This disease is now very rare but used to be very common for sailors with limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables at sea.
The recommended daily dosage is 75mg for females and 75-90mg for males that roughly one orange or 150 g raw spinach.
Other foods include: papaya, broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, kale, strawberries, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, and tomatoes.
Can you get too much vitamin C?
Well...it is practically impossible to get too much vitamin C from food. However, it has been reported that eating more than 3000 mg per day (more than 38 oranges) can give intestinal problems and diarrhoea. Excessive consumption is instead likely to come from misuse of supplements.
What can your genetics tell about your vitamin C levels?
The gene SLC23A1 encodes for the protein SVCT1 that is involved in absorption and transport of vitamin C and will reveal whether you have increased risk of vitamin C deficiency.
So, before you integrate more vitamin C to your daily diet either through food or supplements. It might be a good idea to find out what your genes say.
If you want to gain valuable insights about whether you need more vitamin C in your diet, just follow this link.