Vitamin C and you immunity
For our immunity episode, we are concentrating on boosting your immune system before the influenza season takes full flight. We will be concentrating on Vitamin C as the most important supplement to your daily diet, be it food or actual supplement, and also dispel a myth in the process.
Showing Vit C concentrations relative to food in 1000mg:
6 Guavas (1 contains 165mg)
4 large Red peppers (1 contains around 210mg)
2L Orange Juice
15 oranges (1 contains 60-70mg)
Introducing the role of Vitamin C in immunity
- Many studies have shown that Vitamin C plays a pivotal role in how the immune system functions
- Very important vitamin to boost immune system when flu season occurs, (picture)
- Very important question: how much Vitamin C do we need?
Vitamin C in and out of flu season
- Typical RDA is 60mg – can be misleading, because RDA means minimum quantity your body requires before showing clinical signs of deficiency
- New studies show a safe daily dose out of flu season or when not fighting an infection is 200-300mg
- Clinical research shows that 1000mg is the suggested dose for fighting colds and flu.
- Your body can only absorb a little at a time (so why ingest 1000mg if your body can only take 200-300mg at a time)
True, BUT certain conditions make Vit C absorption faster, including supplementing with Calcium, as well as stressful physiological conditions like stress, being sick, smoking and also during exercise. So rather supplement.
- I have heard that Vitamin C is an acid – I am afraid that eating too much will damage my stomach or affect digestion – is this true?
True that Vitamin C is an acid BUT wrong it will not damage your stomach – the hydrochloric acid in your stomach is much stronger than the weak ascorbic acid which is Vitamin C’s other name – but there are buffered supplements if you REALLY have a problem…which means it will not affect the PH of your tummy.
- What is the most Vitamin C I can take then, if it is so good to have so much?
Vitamin Overdosage is rare but possible – stats show 11 people in USA have died so far of overdosing on Vitamins. The Upper Limit for Vitamin C is 2000mg per day – it does not seem like a lot, and is an indication for long term use.
Good to know:
Keeping yourself healthy during winter is simple enough – boost your immune system and fight the winter snot nose by supplementing your diet with Vitamin C rich foods, and getting in the odd supplement when you haven’t got 15 oranges handy!
More on Vitamin C:
- Water soluble
- Body does not produce it (so it is an essential vitamin, much like essential amino acids)
- Is also known as ascorbic acid
- Is an antioxidant, fights free radicals and thus is regenerative
- Calcium aids Vit C absorption
- Vit C aids Iron absorption
- Involved in immune functioning, as well as physiological development
- Minimum RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance is 60mg) – about an orange
- Most studies recommend 200-300mg Vit C a day
- Vit C taken as a immune booster – 1000mg a day, best taken in 200-300mg supplements 3 times a day (your body flushes it out, cannot store it)
- Also associated with mood upliftment when taken long term
- Mechanism by which it aids the immune system is not yet known – but correlated with increase in immunoglobins and certain white blood cells