Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C 500 mg – 100 chewable tablets
Vitamin C 1000 mg – 200 tablets
Vitamin C Deficiency:
Vitamin C deficiency is more likely in people who:
- Have certain gastrointestinal malabsorption conditions
- Smoke tobacco (or are exposed to secondhand smoke)
- Have certain types of cancer
- Have a diet with limited fruits and vegetables
Severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to a disease called scurvy, associated with anemia, bleeding gums, easy bruising, poor wound healing and death.
What are the effects of Vitamin C on health?
High of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables might lower the risk of various cancers, including lung, breast, and colon. However, vitamin C supplements, with or without other antioxidants, do not seem to be protective against cancer.
Although people who consume large amounts of vegetables and fruits have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, it is not clear whether vitamin C itself, either from food or supplements, helps protect people from cardiovascular disease. It is also uncertain whether vitamin C helps prevent the worsening of cardiovascular disease in those who already have it.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts:
Vitamin C cannot prevent age-related macular degeneration; however, combined with other nutrients it might help slow the progression of AMD.
Some studies suggest that people who consume more vitamin C-rich foods have a lower risk of developing cataracts; however, further investigation is needed.
The common cold:
Vitamin C supplementation does not reduce the risk of developing the common cold. However, people who take vitamin C supplements regularly may have milder symptoms and shorter colds. Beginning vitamin C supplements after cold symptoms start does not decrease symptoms or cold duration.
Safety and side effects:
Taking too much vitamin C can cause side effects, including:
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Abdominal cramping
- Fatigue and sleepiness, or sometimes insomnia
- Skin flushing
Long-term usage of high dose (>2000 mg/day) vitamin C supplements increases the risk of significant side effects.
Possible interactions include:
- Aluminum – Vitamin C supplements can increase absorption of aluminum from aluminum-containing medications. This can be problematic for people with kidney disease.
- Chemotherapy – Antioxidants, including vitamin C, may reduce the beneficial effects of chemotherapy medications.
- Estrogen – Vitamin C may increase estrogen levels when taken with oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.
- Protease inhibitors – Antiviral medications may have reduced effect if taken in conjunction with vitamin C.
- Statins and niacin – When taken with vitamin C, the effects of these cholesterol-lowering medications may be reduced.
- Warfarin – Vitamin C in high dosages might reduce the response to this oral anticoagulant.