Vitamin C, also known as L-amla extract, is a vital nutrient with impressive health benefits. It is not synthesized in the human body but can be found in many foods.
Do vitamin C tablets and the same vitamin taken with food have the same effect? Does vitamin C reduce the risk of getting colds, dementia and cardiovascular disease, does it treat cancer and obesity? Is it possible to preserve youth using vitamin C systematically?
We will try to answer all these questions in this article.
What is vitamin C?
By itself, L-amla extract appears as a white crystalline powder. It is sour, alcohol- and water-soluble.
It is interesting that we use it in our everyday life without even knowing it. The fact is that one form of vitamin C is used in meat, fish and beverages production as an accessory food substance E315.
Functions of Vitamin C
It was mentioned that vitamin C is responsible for vital processes in the human body. Let's take a closer look at them.
Vitamin C is a powerful radical catcher, protecting cells from the accumulation of harmful molecules - free radicals. A radical catcher can donate an electron to a free radical remaining stable. And the free radical becomes less reactive.
Oxidative stress, arising from strenuous physical exercises, as well as due to chronic diseases, remains at a high level for people who did not take amla extract.
Collagen synthesis and muscle performance
One of the main properties of amla extract is its ability to oxidative reactions. In particular, in the human body, it takes part in hydroxylation (the inclusion of oxygen atoms in the synthesized substance). So, procollagen, undergoing oxidation due to the participation of vitamin C, takes the form of collagen *.
* Collagen is found everywhere in the body: soft and hard tissues, myotendinous joints, blood vessels, etc. In summary, those who play sports and have an active lifestyle should include more amla extract in the diet, because it increases physical strength.
Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties, due to which it slows down skin aging, makes it smoother, more effervescent, helps with pigmentation and post-acne. Due to these properties, amla extract is often included in the facial care products contents. Regular use of such cosmetics stimulates collagen production in the dermis, fights against all signs of photoaging, including untimely wrinkles.
Blood pressure control
Vitamin C normalizes the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. High blood pressure is the leading cause of death worldwide. Promising results in studies of hypertensive patients who received additional doses of vitamin C showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mm Hg. and diastolic - by 1.7 mm Hg. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether the positive effects of taking additional doses of the vitamin will be long lasting.
A sufficient supply of amla extract in the body protects it from viral diseases, stimulates the synthesis of interferon proteins, which secrete cells when viruses enter the body and participates in immunomodulation.
The intake of a sufficient amount of vitamin C is necessary for the prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases. It improves immunity, saves T-cells that resist infection and also promotes their division, helps leukocytes and phagocytes to cope with viruses and bacteria faster. Fair amount of amla extract in the body reduces the frequency of cold developing, which is especially important in the off-season, a beriberi period.
Low levels of amla extract have been associated with impaired ability to think and remember, which directly depends on the synthesis of catecholamines. There is evidence of a positive effect of the vitamin in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The addition of amla extract to the basic diet for diabetes sufferers is still controversial among medical experts. Vitamin C inhibits the processes of hemoglobin glycosylation and glucose conversion into sorbitol. Therefore, a decrease in the level of circulating amla extract in the blood serum can lead to the development of hyperlipidemia for patients with diabetes mellitus.
According to the World Health Organization, taking vitamin C during pregnancy reduces the risk of placental abruption and premature rupture of the membranes. Studies also note that amla extract reduces the likelihood of anemia developing during gestation. Despite this, in general, amla extract does not affect preterm birth, stillbirth, intrauterine growth retardation of the child. Сonsult your doctor before use.
Daily intake of vitamin C
The recommended intake of vitamin C for women over 19 years of age is 75 mg, 80 mg (14-18 years) and 85 mg (19+ years) during pregnancy, and during lactation - 115 mg (14-18 years) and 120 mg (19+ years); 90 mg - for men. At the same time, for those who smoke, the daily dose is 35 mg more than usual.
For children adequate vitamin norms are much lower.
In order to find out the level of vitamin C, it is necessary to do a venous blood test. Before the study, you should not eat for 8 hours, and should not smoke.
The symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are a severe weakness of the immune system. This is understandable, because the immunomodulatory properties of the vitamin stave off entering the body by viruses. There are such symptoms as bleeding gums, a long period of tissue recovery after damages (healing of wounds and bruises), dry skin (wrinkles form faster on it), hair and teeth loss, brittle nails. Because of oxidative stress, there is a weakening of muscle tone, rheumatoid pain in the sacrum and limbs, drowsiness and fatigue during the day and frequent nosebleeds.
The effects of high vitamin C intake are:
- Decreased levels of vitamin B12 and copper ions;
- An increased iron level, which causes serious harm to the heart, liver, pancreas and thyroid glands and the central nervous system;
- Erosion of tooth enamel;
- Allergic reactions;
- Indigestion, frequent diarrhea and nausea;
- Formation of kidney stones.
There is acceptable upper doses data of the vitamin. However, remember that each organism is individual and the use of an acceptable upper dose of the drug can provoke an overdose.
Vitamin C during coronavirus
Vitamin C will not protect the body from coronavirus infection, but it can reduce associated inflammation, neutralize the infection, reduce the time of illness and protect against the development of complications. However, you should not be too zealous - an overdose can lead to serious health problems. Before taking it, you should consult your doctor.
Vitamin deficiency is a risk for most people in our time. The issue of food fortification is still acute in post-Soviet countries, while it has already been solved in the USA.
The biological functionality of vitamin C is huge: increasing antioxidant levels, immunomodulating, improving iron absorption and reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease and dementia.
It is important to adhere to the daily intake of amla extract. Will you take it with food or supplements - the effect will be equivalent.