Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which the body needs to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. It also aids in absorption of iron. The use of Vitamin C in the treatment/prevention of cold and flu remains controversial and research is still ongoing.
Our body does not produce Vitamin C, so it is important to get it from food sources. The best ways to get Vitamin C is from fruits and vegetables. Some excellent sources are guava, orange, watermelon, strawberry, broccoli and tomato. However, if you do not eat the recommended four servings of fruit and vegetables per day, you can consider taking Vitamin C supplement.
The Vitamin C supplements on the market are normally at higher doses compared to the recommended daily intake. They are normally quite safe as Vitamin C is water soluble and the body is only able to absorb a certain amount at a time.
The maximum tolerable dose for children
1-3yrs old is 400 mg/day
4-8 yrs old 650 mg/day
9-13 yrs old is 1200 mg/day
14-18 yrs old is 1800 mg/day
More than 18 years is 2000 mg/day
Frequently asked questions about Vitamin C
What happens if i take more than 2000 mg of Vitamin C a day?
You may get diarrhoea, nausea and gastritis. Some may even experience rebound scurvy (bleeding of gums) should high dose vitamin C supplementation be stopped.
There are so many types of Vitamin C on the market, how do I choose?
It depends on whether you prefer chewable tablets, tablets/capsules to swallow or effervescent tablets. People with gastric problems may choose buffered Vitamin C or Vitamin C ester. Timed-release/slow release tablets are better as the vitamin C is slowly released and thus more can be absorbed over time.
Will taking Vitamin C give me a lot of phlegm?
Excessive Vitamin C intake may cause more phlegm production in some people.