Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that's important for many things like the repair of all body tissues, maintaining a healthy immune system and more. While our body needs it, we don't naturally produce it so eating foods high in vitamin C like broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, bell peppers and tomatoes is vital for overall health. But some prefer to take supplements, which can have its advantages, but there's also some risks as well. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, a registered nurse at The Mesothelioma Center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience who shares what taking vitamin C daily can do.Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Marchese tells us, "Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that eliminates harmful particles called free radicals in the body. It reduces oxidative stress caused by long-term inflammation after injury or infection. A daily vitamin C dose can also help the production of other natural antioxidants, including vitamin E and tetrahydrobiopterin."
Aids the Natural Immune System
Marchese explains, "The human immune system helps fight off infections, destroy foreign bodies and reduce disease, but it still needs help from vaccinations and a diet rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. Vitamin C improves the cellular effects of immune cells such as phagocytes and neutrophils. Daily vitamin C can also help clear dead immune cells after infection, preventing harm from a buildup of immune activity byproducts."
According to Marchese, "Most healthy people don't require daily vitamin C supplements, but a supplement can reduce the risk of some cancers in people who suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is also helpful for cancer patients who cannot get all their nutrients through oral intake or have increased inflammations or infections from cancer treatment. Evidence suggests vitamin C supplements could help lower the risk of pancreatic, esophageal and prostate cancers."
Reduced Risk of Eye Disease
"When taken alongside other recommended vitamins and minerals, vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts," says Marchese. "It's unlikely that vitamin C supplements can reverse age-related eye damage, but they may help reduce the risk of decreased visual acuity later in life."
Increased Risk of Kidney Stones
Marchese states, "Daily vitamin C intake isn't recommended for everyone and can increase the risk of some adverse effects. Research has shown that high doses of vitamin C every day increased kidney stone risk by over 20% compared to those who took less than the daily recommended amount of 90 mg."
Risk of Drug Interactions
Marchese says, "A daily vitamin C supplement is typically safe, and excess amounts are eliminated via the urine. However, unnecessarily high levels of vitamin C can accumulate in the body over time and cause issues such as stomach cramps, vomiting, heartburn and diarrhea. Increased levels of vitamin C can interact dangerously with other medications, such as statins (a type of anti-cholesterol drug), the blood-thinner medication warfarin and hormone replacement therapy, such as estrogen."