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Vitamin C, commonly referred to as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is combined with other active compounds to create a vitamin C complex. This powerful antioxidant plays many roles in the body, including immune system maintenance, tissue repair, and blood cholesterol stabilization. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is not stored or created in the body, and must be consumed daily in order to ensure adequate intake. Selecting a vitamin C complex depends on your specific health needs and concerns.
Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits, red pepper, jujube, and broccoli are good sources. Bioflavonoids, which are active compounds in fruits and vegetables, are combined with ascorbic acid in vitamin C complexes to ensure better absorption. When selecting a complex, choose a source that utilizes citrus fruit bioflavonoids to help the body assimilate the vitamin C.
Two common bioflavonoids found in Vitamin C complexes are hesperiden and rutin. Hesperiden is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that helps reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and decrease bone loss. Rutin, sometimes referred to as vitamin P, is also characterized by anti-inflammatory properties and may help strengthen capillaries. For those with issues related to blood pressure and high cholesterol, they may benefit from choosing a vitamin C complex that contains these bioflavonoids.
Some vitamin C complex manufacturers include whole food fruits in the supplement, such as acerola, a tropical cherry high in vitamin C. Blueberries and kale are other whole food sources sometimes utilized in complex supplements. Whole food sources of vitamins are often easier for the body to absorb, so consider selected a vitamin C complex that incorporates natural food sources.
Vitamin C benefits the body in numerous ways, such as helping build collagen, a protein that holds cells together. It improves immune function, helps heal wounds, prevents nutritional ailments, and helps metabolize amino acids. A deficiency in vitamin C is characterized by weakness, swollen gums, nosebleeds, and can result in scurvy.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 75 mg a day for women and 90 mg a day for men. Elderly people and those with a diet low in fruits and vegetables benefit from supplementation. Habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and performing strenuous physical activity may increase the need for vitamin C. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends 110 to 120 mg of vitamin a day for smokers.
Vitamin C complex is available in many forms. Tablets and capsules are common, convenient choices. It’s also available as a powder or drink mix, and as a topical cream aimed at improving the skin. For the purest vitamin c complex, consider one devoid of additives and preservatives.
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