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Are You Prepared to Handle a Health Problem at Home?

Elizabeth

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Mar 12th, 2013

Vitamin C

Also indexed as:Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), C Vitamin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ester-C
Vitamin C: Main Image

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has a number of biological functions.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance and Reducing Pain and Speeding Muscle Strength Recovery after Intense Exercise
400 mg daily for several days before and after intense exercise3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin C for several days before and after intense exercise may reduce pain and speed muscle strength recovery.
Bronchitis
200 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
In a double-blind study of elderly patients hospitalized with acute bronchitis, those given vitamin C improved to a significantly greater extent than those who were given a placebo.
Bruising
400 to 800 mg daily, with flavonoids3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce bruising in people with low vitamin C intake.
Capillary Fragility
Treat deficiency with up to 1 gram daily3 stars[3 stars]
In cases of deficiency, vitamin C has been shown to increase capillary strength, in seniors and people with diabetes in particular.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
1 to 4 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Studies have shown that taking vitamin C may make your cold shorter and less severe.
Gingivitis
300 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
If you are deficient in vitamin C, supplementing with this vitamin may improve your overall gum health.
Glaucoma
At least 2 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may help reduce intraocular pressure.
High Cholesterol
1,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C appears to protect LDL cholesterol from damage, and in some trials, cholesterol levels have fallen when people supplement with vitamin C.
Infection
1 to 4 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C has antiviral activity, and may help prevent viral infections or, in the case of the common cold, reduce the severity and duration of an infection.
Male Infertility and Sperm Agglutination
1,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C protects sperm from oxidative damage and keeps sperm from sticking together.
Scurvy
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Although scurvy is uncommon in Western societies, many doctors believe that most people consume less than optimal amounts of vitamin C, especially smokers.
Stress
1 to 3 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C helps to normalize stress-hormone levels.
Sunburn

(Vitamin E)
2,000 to 3,000 mg vitamin C and 1,000 to 2,000 IU vitamin E3 stars[3 stars]
Antioxidants may protect the skin from sunburn due to free radical–producing ultraviolet rays. Combinations of vitamin E and C offer protection against ultraviolet rays.
Wound Healing
1 to 3 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin C may promote connective tissue repair.
Asthma
1,000 to 1,500 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C reduces the tendency of the bronchial passages to go into spasm, an action that has been confirmed in double-blind research.
Atherosclerosis
250 mg twice per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may help reverse the progression of atherosclerosis and protect against heart disease.
Athletic Performance and Vitamin C Deficiency
If deficient: 100 to 200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Antioxidants, including vitamin C, neutralize exercise-related free radicals before they can damage the body, so antioxidants may aid in exercise recovery. Especially in cases of vitamin C deficiency, supplementing with the vitamin may improve exercise performance.
Autism
1 gram per 20 lbs (9 kg) body weight per day 2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, autistic children given vitamin C had less severe symptoms than those taking placebo, possibly because vitamin C affects a hormone pathway typically disturbed in children with autism.
Cold Sores

(Flavonoids)
200 mg with 200 mg flavonoids, three to five times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C plus flavonoids may help speed cold sore healing.
Depression
500 mg twice a day2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study, the combination of vitamin C and an antidepressant drug (fluoxetine) was significantly more effective than the antidepressant alone.
Dysmenorrhea

(Rutin, Vitamin B3 (Niacin))
200 mg niacin daily, 300 mg vitamin C daily, and 60 mg rutin daily througout menstrual cycle; for cramps: 100 mg niacin every two to three hours2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with a combination of vitamin B3, vitamin C, and the flavonoid rutin resulted in a 90% effectiveness for relieving menstrual cramps in one study.
Endometriosis

(Vitamin E)
1,000 mg vitamin C and 1,200 IU vitamin E daily2 stars[2 stars]
A combination of vitamin C and vitamin E can help lessen the pain of endometriosis.
Female Infertility and Luteal Phase Defect
750 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C has been shown to improve fertility in woman with a uterine condition known as luteal phase defect.
Gastritis
5 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C may reduce free radical damage in the stomach lining in the case of gastritis caused by the bacteriaH. pylori.
Gingivitis

(Flavonoids)
300 mg of vitamin C, plus 300 mg of flavonoids daily2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, supplementing with vitamin C plus flavonoids improved gum health in a group of people with gingivitis.
Gout
0.5 to 8 grams daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C might reduce the risk of gout attacks, as it appears to help reduce uric acid levels.
Hypertension
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Some doctors recommend that people with hypertension supplement with vitamin C, which has been found to have a blood pressure–lowering effect.
Immune Function
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C stimulates the immune system. While taking it has only a small effect in preventing colds, it does significantly reduce the duration of a cold when taken at the onset.
Influenza
100 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may reduce your flu risk.
Pancreatic Insufficiency
540 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C, may lessen pain and prevent pancreatitis recurrences.
Parkinson’s Disease

(Vitamin E)
3,000 mg of vitamin C and 3,200 IU of vitamin E2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamins C and E may help people with early Parkinson’s disease delay the need for medication.
Pre- and Post-Surgery Health and Vitamin C Deficiency
100 to 250 mg once or twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C supports immune function and is a critical nutrient for wound healing. Supplementing with it may decrease the risk of excessive bleeding in the surgical setting.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
100 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C during pregnancy may reduce the risk of premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
Schizophrenia
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
People with schizophrenia may require more vitamin C than the general population. In one trial, vitamin C reduced hallucinations, suspiciousness, and disorganized thoughts.
Skin Ulcers
1,000 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may help prevent skin ulcers and speed healing.
Sprains and Strains
250 to 500 mg with meals and at bedtime2 stars[2 stars]
Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the “glue” that strengthens connective tissue. Vitamin C supplementation can speed healing of various types of trauma.
Sunburn

(Vitamin E)
Apply a formula containing 2% vitamin E and 5% vitamin C before sun exposure2 stars[2 stars]
Studies have found sunscreen-like effects from topical application of the vitamin C and vitamin E combination.
Type 1 Diabetes
500 mg twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may benefit people with type 1 diabetes in several ways, including by reducing sorbitol levels, urinary protein loss, glycosylation, and eye damage.
Type 2 Diabetes
500 mg twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may benefit people with type 2 diabetes in several ways, including by reducing sorbitol levels, urinary protein loss, and glycosylation.
Urinary Tract Infection
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may treat acute UTIs and help people who are prone to recurrent UTIs.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Use of vitamin C, alone or with vitamin E, has been associated with better cognitive function and a reduced risk of certain forms of dementia (not including Alzheimer’s disease).
Alcohol Withdrawal
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C appears to help the body rid itself of alcohol. Alcohol-related anxiety may also be improved by a combination of vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, and vitamin E, though the high amounts B vitamins studied need a doctor’s supervision.
Amenorrhea

(Clomiphene)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C combined with the drug clomiphene, which affects female hormone levels, is more effective at stimulating ovulation in women with amenorrhea than either substance alone.
Asthma

(Vitamin E, Selenium)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
There is some evidence that a combination of antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium may help prevent asthma thought to be caused by air pollution.
Bipolar Disorder
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C helps the body reduce its load of vanadium, a mineral that adversely influences bipolar disorder. It has improved symptoms of depression and mania in some studies.
Cataracts
500 to 1,000 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with vitamin C, an important nutrient for healthy vision, has been linked with lower risk of developing cataracts.
Childhood Diseases
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C enhances the immune system and may protect against viral infections, including measles and chicken pox.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one study, people who got more vitamin C from their diet were less likely to be diagnosed with bronchitis, however, vitamin C has not been studied in relation to COPD.
Colon Cancer
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C has been shown to improve precancerous conditions in at-risk people.
Ear Infections
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with vitamin C stimulates the immune system and may help prevent ear infections.
Eczema
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C might be beneficial in treating eczema by affecting the immune system.
Gallstones
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C is needed for the body to convert cholesterol to bile acids and may help reduce symptoms of gallstones.
Hay Fever
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C has antihistamine activity, and supplementing with it has been reported to help people with hay fever.
Heart Attack
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C has been reported to protect blood vessels from problems associated with heart attack risk in a variety of ways.
Heart Attack and Vitamin C Deficiency
100 to 200 mg daily1 star[1 star]
Taking vitamin C may reduce heart attack risk in people who are deficient.
Hepatitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C may be efffective at preventing hepatitis infection in people receiving blood transfusions and at treating viral hepatitis.
Hives
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
High amounts of vitamin C might help people with hives by lowering histamine levels.
Hypoglycemia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and since there are similarities in the way the body regulates high and low blood sugar levels, it might be helpful for hypoglycemia as well.
Low Back Pain
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A preliminary report suggested that vitamin C helped many people avoid surgery for their disc-related low back pain.
Macular Degeneration
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration. Vitamin C protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Menopause
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A combination of vitamin C and the flavonoid hesperidin were reported to relieve hot flashes in menopausal women.
Menorrhagia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C protects capillaries (small blood vessels) from damage. In so doing, it might protect against the blood loss of menorrhagia.
Morning Sickness
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin K and vitamin C, taken together, may provide relief of morning sickness symptoms for some women.
Peptic Ulcer
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C may be useful in treating peptic ulcers because of its ability to help eradicate H. pylori
Sickle Cell Anemia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sickle cell anemia patients tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxygen-related damage. Supplementing with vitamin C may help correct a deficiency.
Tardive Dyskinesia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In some studies, taking vitamin C along with other nutrients appeared to prevent the development of tardive dyskinesia
Type 1 Diabetes

(Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A combination of the antioxidants selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E has been shown to improve diabetic retinopathy.
Type 1 Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy

(Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Antioxidant nutrients including selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E may combat free radicals associated with diabetic retinopathy.
Vitiligo
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C has been shown to be effective at skin repigmentation in people with vitiligo.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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