Posted in health, health & fitness

Vitamin C & Health

Vitamin C, or technically L-ascorbic acid, is an essential water soluble vitamin known to exhibit antioxidant properties.

It is the most famous of all vitamins and was discovered in 1932 when scurvy killed 2 million sailors between year 1500-1800. Unlike most animals, humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C so it is considered to be an essential nutrient.

Roles of Vitamin C

  • protects cells and keep them healthy
  • biosynthesis of collagen, l-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters
  • involves in protein metabolism
  • wound healing
  • powerful antioxidant
  • promotes iron absorption

Benefits

  • boosts immunity
  • neutralize free radicals
  • help manage high blood pressure
  • lower risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases
  • reduced risk of gastric cancer and other cancers
  • may reduce blood uric acid levels and help prevent gout attacks
  • prevents cataract
  • protects memory and thinking
  • prevents plaque formation

Deficiency

  • bone pain
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • easy bruising
  • anemia
  • scurvy
  • gum disease
  • mood changes
  • general malaise

Humans depend on external or dietary sources of vitamin C to cover requirements. The following is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–6 months40 mg*40 mg*
7–12 months50 mg*50 mg*
1–3 years15 mg15 mg
4–8 years25 mg25 mg
9–13 years45 mg45 mg
14–18 years75 mg65 mg80 mg115 mg
19+ years90 mg75 mg85 mg120 mg
SmokersIndividuals who smoke require 35 mg/day
more vitamin C than nonsmokers.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Due to its function as an antioxidant and its role in immune function, vitamin C has been promoted as a means to help prevent and/or treat numerous health conditions. Supplements are most common in the form of ascorbic acid. which has equivalent bioavailability to that of naturally occurring ascorbic acid in foods, such as orange juice and broccoli. Other forms of vitamin C supplements include sodium ascorbate; calcium ascorbate; other mineral ascorbates; ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids.

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a well balanced diet. But due to lifestyle and busy schedule and vitamin c being water soluble meaning heat sensitive -you may not meet the daily requirement and opt for supplements. Please keep in mind the dosage and talk to a health professional for further advice.


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Posted in Family health, health, health & fitness

Why do you need B-Vitamins?

B-Vitamins are water soluble vitamins.

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamins/vitamin-b/

B-Vitamins or B Complex are essential vitamins that contribute to your overall health and well-being. There are eight B Vitamins – B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyroxidine), B9 (Folate), B12 (cobalamin).

These eight micronutrients play vital roles in many organs and bodily systems. They have dual functions – work together and/or carry out individual works in the body.

  • essential in synthesis of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin & dopamine
  • cellular health
  • blood cell formation
  • converts fats to glucose
  • promote energy levels
  • good eyesight
  • brain function
  • nerve conduction
  • fats and hormone synthesis
  • cardiovascular health
  • muscle tone

In women

B vitamins are essentially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Particularly Folic Acid – that aids in fetal development and prevent birth defects.

Folic acid fortification is one of the most successful public health initiatives. With 19-55% decreased in neural tube defects.

And for expectant mothers, B vitamins may boost energy levels, ease nausea, and lower the risk of developing preeclampsia.

In men

B vitamins help in testosterone levels in men that decrease with age. Helps in muscles and overall energy level.

In vegetarians/vegans

American Dietetic Association recommends Vitamin B12 in particular. Since Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products, fish, meat and poultry.

How much B vitamins do you need?

For women, the recommended daily intake is:

For men, the recommended daily intake is:

One cannot single out which B vitamin is the best because each has its own unique function and purpose. Depending on our body condition and pre-existing illness or nutritional levels, we may or may not be able to meet the daily requirements of B vitamins.

Best to talk to your trusted doctor, dietitian or health care provider.