What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is one of our most common water-soluble vitamins, which is needed, among other things, to maintain the immune system. But which foods contain the most vitamin C, and what is liposomal vitamin C?
- What is vitamin C good for?
- Buffered Vitamin C
- Acid-neutral Vitamin C
- Liposomal Vitamin C
- Vitamin C supplements
- Vitamin C in food
- Can you take too much vitamin C?
What is vitamin C good for?
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed for the formation of collagen in the body. Collagen is the protein that binds the body together and is needed, among other things, for healthy joints and to keep skin, hair and nails strong. Vitamin C is also needed for hormone formation to be able to function normally.
But what vitamin C is perhaps best known for is its function as an antioxidant, that is, to protect the body's cells from being broken down. This breakdown is called oxidative stress and is constantly taking place because we are constantly replacing cells, but the stress increases during, for example, hard exercise, smoking, stress and sunbathing. By eating vitamin C-rich foods, we can add extra antioxidants that counteract this process. Vitamin C also optimizes iron absorption, which is the reason why it’s good to combine iron capsules or an iron-rich diet with an intake of vitamin C.
Buffered Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a very acidic vitamin, so people with sensitive stomachs or those who consume large amounts of the vitamin may experience stomach problems. In this case, it’s a good idea to choose a buffered vitamin C with a higher pH value, which makes it more gentle on the stomach. By adding a mineral such as calcium or magnesium, the pH value of the vitamin is lowered. Another advantage of buffered vitamin C is that the added minerals cause the vitamins to pass more slowly through the gastrointestinal tract so that the uptake acts for a longer period of time.
Acid-neutral Vitamin C
Acid-neutral vitamin C is actually the same as buffered vitamin, as a mineral is added to the ascorbic acid, neutralising the acid and making it gentler on the stomach, which results in so-called acid-neutral vitamin C. When you combine calcium or magnesium with ascorbic acid, the bioavailability of the vitamin is also facilitated and the mineral also helps the cells to adhere to the vitamin so that it stays in the cells longer. As vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body, but instead must be added daily via the diet.
What is liposomal vitamin D?
The fact that the vitamin is liposomal means that it is encapsulated in small bubbles of phospholipids. These have the property of being able to make it through the digestive system without being broken down by, for example, stomach acid. This is because our own cell membranes also consist of phospholipids - this is something that already exists naturally in the body. The vitamin is instead absorbed directly in the intestines, which can make a liposomal supplement more effective than tablets and capsules due to the higher bioavailability.
Vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C is a common supplement, and is popular to take during cold season. More studies are needed to be able to determine with certainty that vitamin C relieves and counteracts cold symptoms, but it has been proven that the vitamin is needed for a normally functioning immune system. The immune system protects the body against various stressors such as viruses and bacteria, and a well-balanced immune system is therefore good for protecting against the common cold.
Even those who exercise a lot can benefit from taking a supplement of vitamin C in connection with exercise. This is because the body is strained during exercise and may become extra susceptible to infections, but vitamin C contributes to a maintained immune system even during strenuous exercise. For example, you can mix some vitamin C powder in your water bottle or take a tablet of vitamin C before exercise. Vitamin C is almost always also found in multivitamins.
Vitamin C is available in many different forms, and those who have difficulty swallowing tablets may prefer to take the vitamin in liquid form or as a powder. In addition, many people find it easier to measure the correct dosage of these, while others think that tablets are easier as they are easy to take and are available in a ready-to-go dosage.
Vitamin C in food
Vitamin C is found in most types of fruits, berries and vegetables, but it’s the citrus fruits that have become most talked about recently. Examples of some really vitamin C-rich foods are broccoli, peppers, oranges and brussel sprouts. However, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the vitamin is sensitive to heat and can therefore be destroyed during cooking at high temperatures. In order not to lose the vitamin’s useful properties, you should therefore try to eat raw foods with vitamin C or supplement your intake elsewhere. Below you can see a table of which foods contain the most vitamin C compared to supplements with vitamin C.
Can you take too much vitamin C?
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, any excess vitamin C can be excreted in the urine, so side effects are uncommon.