Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a naturally present water soluble vitamin that helps maintain the bones, cartilage, skin and the blood vessels. Basically, it’s a vitamin that helps make collagen that is present in all the bones and connective tissues. Other than bone structure, it works to manage red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body. Usually people don’t need to supplement vitamin C because daily diet covers its minimum daily requirement.
Ascorbic acid comes under a class of drugs known as the antioxidants. The antioxidants prevent cell damage due to the presence of free radicals in the body.
The natural vitamin C has the properties of an antioxidant while the supplementary form of ascorbic acid exhibits the same functions.
As stated above, people usually don’t need to supplement it, but it is used to prevent a disease called scurvy.
The deficiency of ascorbic acid causes scurvy that is characterized by gum ulcers, skin rashes, pain and inflammation of the body especially limbs and in extreme conditions it can cause spontaneous bleeding.
The condition if worsened can take several months of treatment with supplemental vitamin C.
The regular daily requirement is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women.
For breastfeeding or pregnant women, the daily requirement is almost 1.5 times of the normal requirement. For lactating women of age under 18, a required dose is 115 mg while for the lactating mothers of 20 to 50 years, the requirement goes up to 120 mg per day.
There are many other considerations for the dosage.
The dose for treating a condition such as scurvy, is 100-250 mg as per the doctor’s advice.
For an eye condition in older adults, 500 mg of vitamin C along with other vitamins is recommended for ten years.
It is effective against the common cold if given in a controlled quantity of 1-3 grams daily.
While the oral form doesn’t have many side effects, the injection form of ascorbic acid can lead to dizziness or even fainting if given speedily.
Other side effects include vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, headache and heartburn.
Over dosage that is more than 2000 mg a day can lead to severe side effects such as severe diarrhea and kidney stones. If someone has kidney stones, a high dose of vitamin C can cause the stones to multiply.
- Do not use it just for the sake of fun and should always be used on recommendation of the doctor.
- Do not overdose yourself with it.
- Check the instructions that are on the packaging and follow those instructions.