Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the first thing many people reach for when a cold strikes. This important water-soluble vitamin helps to form the proteins that make skin, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. It also aids in healing wounds and repairing cartilage, bones and teeth. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can block some of the damage caused by free radicals that would otherwise lead to aging, certain cancers and heart disease.
Vitamin C was discovered as a way to combat scurvy from malnutrition during the 1930s. It is effective because it helps the body to efficiently convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy.

Signs of a Vitamin C Deficiency

Not getting enough vitamin C can harm the body. People who do not get the recommended daily intake of vitamin C may have difficulty healing wounds or battling infections. They may also experience gingivitis, joint pain, dry skin and weakened tooth enamel.
A lack of vitamin C can even cause a slower metabolism and weight gain.

Vitamin C Excess

Taking in excessive amounts of vitamin C is unlikely to do much harm because it cannot be stored by the body. However, ingesting a large amount of vitamin C can certainly lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Required daily dosages of vitamin C are dependant on age.

  • Infants under six months of age should take 40 milligrams per day.
  • Infants between seven months old and one year of age should take in 50 milligrams per day.
  • Children between one and three years of age should take in 15 milligrams per day.
  • Children between four and eight years of age should take in 24 milligrams per day.
  • Children between nine and 13 years of age should take in 45 milligrams per day.
  • Boys and girls between 14 years old and 18 years old require between 65 milligrams and 75 milligrams daily.
  • Men and women above 19 years of age require between 75 milligrams and 90 milligrams daily.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women need between 85 milligrams and 120 milligrams daily.