Nutrition Market

Ascorbic Acid

What is Ascorbic Acid?

Ascorbic acid is another name for vitamin C. It is an essential vitamin found naturally in many foods but also available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin C is important for growth and development, immune system function, iron absorption, and production of collagen in the body amongst other functions.

Ascorbic Acid in Our Supplements

The ascorbic acid used in our vitamin C supplements is a synthetic version identical to the natural nutrient found in food. As a water-soluble vitamin, excess vitamin C is excreted from the body. Our ascorbic acid vitamin C supplements provide high strength support for those needing increased levels.

Benefits of Ascorbic Acid

Some benefits of ascorbic acid supplements include:

  • Powerful antioxidant properties to protect cells from damage
  • Supports immune system health and function
  • Aids iron absorption for healthy red blood cells
  • Important for production of collagen for skin, joints and tissues
  • Helps heal wounds and supports bone and teeth health

Are There Any Side Effects?

Ascorbic acid supplements are generally well tolerated when taken at recommended doses. However some mild side effects can occasionally occur including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased urination
  • Redness of skin
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

High doses above the upper limit can increase risk of kidney stones and rebound deficiency when ceasing supplements. Those with iron overload disorders, glucose-6-phosphate deficiency, or kidney stones should check with a health practitioner before taking vitamin C supplements.

The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for vitamin C in Australia is:

  • Men: 45mg per day
  • Women: 45mg per day

Smokers are advised to increase their vitamin C intake by 35mg per day due to increased risk of deficiency.

While vitamin C deficiency is rare in Australia, those at higher risk like the elderly, vegetarians, shift workers and smokers may benefit from an increased daily intake through supplementation.

How Much is Too Much?

The upper limit advised for vitamin C supplements without medical supervision is:

Higher doses above the upper limit increase the risk of side effects like kidney stones, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps. High doses can also lead to rebound deficiency when ceased.

Always follow dosage directions and check with a health practitioner if considering taking more than the upper limit. More is not always better when it comes to supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is vitamin C important?

Vitamin C has many critical functions in the body including antioxidant activity, immune health, collagen production, iron absorption, and supporting bones, teeth, skin and blood vessels. The body cannot make its own vitamin C so it must come from the diet.

Can you get enough vitamin C from food alone?

Most Australians can get adequate vitamin C from food sources alone by eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables daily. However, some higher risk groups like smokers, shift workers, strict vegetarians or vegans and the elderly may benefit from supplements.

Is it better to get nutrients from food or supplements?

Experts generally recommend meeting vitamin and mineral needs from a balanced, healthy diet first where possible. However supplements can help fill nutrient gaps when requirements are higher or intake is inadequate. Both food sources and quality supplements have an important role.

When should vitamin C supplements be taken?

Vitamin C supplements are best taken with food for absorption and spread out through the day for sustained benefits. Dividing your daily dose (e.g. 500mg morning and night) is ideal rather than taking all at once.

Do vitamin C supplements boost immunity?

Vitamin C plays an essential role in supporting immune system health and function. Supplements can’t prevent illness, but ensuring adequate intake through food sources and supplements helps strengthen immunity and fight infection when sickness occurs.

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