L Ascorbic Acid Benefits and Information

Ascorbic acid is the water soluble form of vitamin C. It is considered a potent antioxidant. Ascorbic acid was originally revered for its anti-scurvy properties, but the focus on this supplement today is more on its potential ability to protect cells. (Note: While most animals synthesize their own Vitamin C from glucose, people must rely upon dietary sources). Besides its antioxidant benefits, ascorbic acid plays a primary role in collagen formation which is essential for the growth and repair of tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, bones, and teeth. Older people and smokers have a much greater need for this vitamin than do younger individuals. While it has been suggested, there is no concrete evidence that esterified vitamin C or other specialized versions of it are more easily absorbed by the body than ascorbic acid.

How Ascorbic Acid Functions

Ascorbic acid strengthens the capillaries and cell walls and is an essential component of collagen formation. It functions in protein synthesis by changing the charge of iron so that it can be absorbed and works as an antioxidant. Ascorbic acid also assists in the construction of protein from amino acids. Its collagen benefits, which bind together the cells of connective tissue, help to promote healing, prevent bruising, and keep ligaments and tendons strong and healthy. Ascorbic acid is necessary for healthy bones, muscles, blood vessels, and cartilage. It's been known as the antioxidant's antioxidant because it functions to protect both beta-carotene and Vitamin E from oxidation. Vitamin C blocks the formation of nitrosamines (the cause of certain types of gastrointestinal cancers) from nitrates, which are commonly added to smoked and cured meat products.

strong>Dosage and Administration

The recommended dosage of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is 60 mg a day, but dosages up to 2000 mg are considered safe, and people who smoke, use oral contraceptives, or are under emotional and physical stress may need more than the recommended daily allowance.

Side Effects of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

The side effects of taking too much vitamin C may include loose stools, diarrhea, gas, and bloating which will discontinue when lowering the dose. Although the body protects itself by not absorbing high dosages of vitamin C and excretion in the urine, high dosages may contribute to kidney stone formation and could precipitate abortion in pregnant women.