Vitamin C

Source

Mineral ascorbates are less irritating to the GI tract since they are buffered. The Calcium Ascorbate is one such mineral forms of Vitamin C and why we use it to formulate Mymmunity.

Chemical Name

Ascrobic Acid (C6H8O6)

Immune support

Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants in the body. It is needed for a healthy immune system. It possesses anti-histamine, anti-viral, anti-hypertensive and anti-atherogenic properties.

Because of vitamin C's role in maintaining normal immune function, a lot of people use it for treating and preventing infectious conditions such as the common cold. T-lymphocyte activity, phagocyte function, leukocyte mobility, and possibly antibody and interferon production seem to be increased by vitamin C. Vitamin C levels in phagocytes and lymphocytes are up to 100 times greater than in plasma. Some researchers think that vitamin C levels in white blood cells decrease at the onset of a cold and that boosting vitamin C intake might be beneficial. There is some evidence vitamin C might have other effects in patients with the common cold. Vitamin C might protect normal tissues against reactive oxygen species that are produced by phagocytes during a viral infection. It might also enhance the proliferative responses of T-lymphocytes. There is preliminary evidence vitamin C excretion might actually decrease during a cold, indicating that patients may retain vitamin C. However, absorption of vitamin C is unchanged during a cold. Some researchers think vitamin C supplements might be useful to prevent other respiratory viral infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), but there are no reliable clinical studies to support this hypothesis.

Other uses

An eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD). Taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc helps prevent AMD from becoming worse in people at high risk for developing advanced AMD. It's too soon to know if the combination helps people at lower risk for developing advanced AMD. Also, it's too soon to known if vitamin C helps prevents AMD.
Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). Taking vitamin C before and for a few days after heart surgery helps prevent irregular heartbeat after heart surgery.
Emptying the colon before a colonoscopy. Before a person undergoes a colonoscopy, the person must make sure that their colon is empty. This emptying is called bowel preparation. Some bowel preparation involves drinking 4 liters of medicated fluid. If vitamin C is included in the medicated fluid, the person only needs to drink 2 liters. This makes people more likely to follow through with the emptying procedure. Also fewer side effects occur. A specific medicated fluid containing vitamin C (MoviPrep, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for bowel preparation.
Common cold. There is some controversy about the effectiveness of vitamin C for treating the common cold. However, most research shows that taking 1-3 grams of vitamin C might shorten the course of the cold by 1 to 1.5 days. Taking vitamin C does not appear to prevent colds.
Limb pain that usually occurs after an injury (complex regional pain syndrome). Taking vitamin C after surgery or injury to the arm or leg seems to prevent complex regional pain syndrome from developing.
Skin redness caused by injury or irritation (erythema). Using a skin cream containing vitamin C might decrease skin redness following laser resurfacing for scar and wrinkle removal.
Airway infections caused by exercise. Using vitamin C before heavy physical exercise, such as a marathon, might prevent upper airway infections that can occur after heavy exercise.
Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach (gastritis). Some medicine used to treat H. pylori infection can worsen stomach inflammation. Taking vitamin C along with one of these medicines called omeprazole might decrease this side effect.
Gout. Higher intake of vitamin C from the diet is linked to a lower risk of gout in men. But vitamin C doesn't help treat gout.
Worsening of stomach inflammation caused by medicine used to treat H. pylori infection. Some medicine used to treat H. pylori infection can worsen stomach inflammation. Taking vitamin C along with one of these medicines called omeprazole might decrease this side effect.
A condition in which red blood cells are broken down faster than they are made (hemolytic anemia). Taking vitamin C supplements might help manage anemia in people undergoing dialysis.
High cholesterol. Taking vitamin C might reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
High blood pressure. Taking vitamin C along with medicine to lower blood pressure helps lower systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by a small amount. But it does not seem to lower diastolic pressure (the bottom number). Taking vitamin C does not seem to lower blood pressure when taken without medicine to lower blood pressure.
Lead poisoning. Consuming vitamin C in the diet seems to lower blood levels of lead.
Reduced benefit of nitrate therapy that happens when nitrates are used all day (nitrate tolerance). In some people who take medicines for chest pain, the body develops tolerance and the medicines stop working as well. Taking vitamin C seems to help these medicines, such as nitroglycerine, work for longer.
Osteoarthritis. Taking vitamin C from dietary sources or from calcium ascorbate supplements seems to prevent cartilage loss and worsening of symptoms in people with osteoarthritis.
Pain after surgery. Taking 2 grams of vitamin C by mouth one hour before surgery might reduce pain and the need for opioid pain relievers after surgery. Receiving 3 grams of vitamin C by IV during the first 30 minutes of surgery might also help reduce pain. Taking lower doses of vitamin C for 6 weeks after surgery also seems to reduce pain and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers.
Sunburn. Taking vitamin C by mouth or applying it to the skin along with vitamin E might prevent sunburn. But taking vitamin C alone does not prevent sunburn.
Wrinkled skin. Skin creams containing vitamin C seem to improve the appearance of wrinkled skin. A vitamin C patch also seems to help reduce wrinkles.

How it works

Vitamin C is required for the proper development and function of many parts of the body. It plays an important role in maintaining proper immune function.

Safety

When taken by mouth: Vitamin C is safe for most people when taken by mouth in recommended doses. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and other side effects. The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Amounts higher than 2000 mg daily are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause a lot of side effects. These may include kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, amounts greater than 1000 mg daily greatly increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence.

When applied to the skin: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin.

When given by IV: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when given by IV by a health care provider.

When given as a shot: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when given as a shot into the muscle by a health care provider.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in amounts no greater than 2000 mg daily for women over 19 years-old, and 1800 mg daily for women 14 to 18 years-old, or when given intravenously (by IV) or intramuscularly and appropriately. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby. Vitamin C is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in excessive amounts.

Infants and children: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Vitamin C is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in amounts higher than 400 mg daily for children 1 to 3 years, 650 mg daily for children 4 to 8 years, 1200 mg daily for children 9 to 13 years, and 1800 mg daily for adolescents 14 to 18 years.

Alcoholism: Alcohol intake can cause the body to excrete vitamin C in the urine. People who regularly use alcohol, especially those who have other illnesses, often have vitamin C deficiency. These people might need to be treated for a longer time than normal to restore vitamin C levels to normal.

Alzheimer disease: Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid might worsen mental function in people with Alzheimer disease.

Angioplasty, a heart procedure: Avoid taking supplements containing vitamin C or other antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin E) immediately before and following angioplasty without the supervision of a health care professional. These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.

Weight loss surgery: Weight loss surgery can cause the body to absorb more oxalate from food. This can increase the amount of oxalate in the urine. Too much oxalate in the urine can cause problems such as kidney stones. Vitamin C can also increase the amount of oxalate in the urine. Taking large amounts vitamin C after weight loss surgery might increase the risk of having too much oxalate in the urine.

Cancer: Cancerous cells collect high concentrations of vitamin C. Until more is known, only use high doses of vitamin C under the direction of your oncologist.

Kidney disease: Vitamin C can increase the amount of oxalate in the urine. Too much oxalate in the urine can increase the risk of kidney failure in people with kidney disease.

Diabetes: Vitamin C might raise blood sugar. In older women with diabetes, vitamin C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from heart disease. Do not take vitamin C in doses greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

A metabolic deficiency called "glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase" (G6PD) deficiency: Large amounts of vitamin C can cause red blood cells to break in people with this condition. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C.

Blood-iron disorders, including conditions called "thalassemia" and "hemochromatosis": Vitamin C can increase iron absorption, which might make these conditions worse. Avoid large amounts of vitamin C.

Kidney stones, or a history of kidney stones: Large amounts of vitamin C can increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C in amounts greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

Heart attack: Vitamin C levels are reduced during a heart attack. However, low vitamin C has not been linked to an increased risk for heart attack.

Kidney transplant rejection: Long-term use of vitamin C in high doses before a kidney transplant may increase the risk of transplant rejection or delay how long it takes until the transplanted kidney works.

Schizophrenia: Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E might worsen psychosis in some people with schizophrenia when taken with antipsychotic drugs.

Smoking and chewing tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco lowers vitamin C levels. Vitamin C intake in the diet should be increased in people who smoke or chew tobacco.

Interactions with medications

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

The body breaks down acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to get rid of it. Large amounts of vitamin C can decrease how quickly the body breaks down acetaminophen. It is not clear exactly when or if this interaction is a big concern.

Aluminum

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin C can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. However, it is not clear if this interaction is a big concern. Take vitamin C two hours before or four hours after antacids.

Aspirin

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Aspirin is removed by the body through the kidneys and in the urine. Some scientists have raised concern that vitamin C might decrease how the body removes aspirin and could potentially increase the amount of aspirin in the body. There is concern that this could increase the chance of aspirin-related side effects. However, some research suggests that this is not an important concern and that vitamin C does not interact in a meaningful way with aspirin. Some research actually suggests that taking vitamin C with buffered aspirin might decrease the stomach irritation caused by aspirin. More evidence is needed about this possible benefit.

Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate (Trilisate)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate). It is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

Estrogens

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

The body breaks down estrogens to get rid of them. Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of estrogens. Taking vitamin C along with estrogens might increase the effects and side effects of estrogens.

Fluphenazine (Prolixin)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease how much fluphenazine (Prolixin) is in the body. Taking vitamin C along with fluphenazine (Prolixin) might decrease the effectiveness of fluphenazine (Prolixin).

Indinavir (Crixivan)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Indinavir (Crixivan) is a medication used for HIV/AIDS. Taking large amounts of vitamin C along with indinavir (Crixivan) might decrease how much of indinavir (Crixivan) stays in the body. It's not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

Medications for cancer (Alkylating agents)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if this interaction occurs.

Medications for cancer (Antitumor antibiotics)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if this interaction occurs.

Some of these medications include doxorubicin (Adriamycin), daunorubicin (DaunoXome), epirubicin (Ellence), mitomycin (Mutamycin), bleomycin (Blenoxane), and others.

Medications used for HIV/AIDS (Protease Inhibitors)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Taking large doses of vitamin C might reduce how much of some medications used for HIV/AIDS stays in the body. This could decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for HIV/AIDS.

Some of these medications used for HIV/AIDS include amprenavir (Agenerase), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase).

Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Taking vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamin E together might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol. It is not known if vitamin C alone decreases the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol.

Some medications used for lowering cholesterol include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and pravastatin (Pravachol).

Niacin

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Taking niacin along with the drug simvastatin can increase good cholesterol levels. Taking niacin plus simvastatin along with vitamin C and other antioxidants can decrease the effects of niacin and simvastatin on good cholesterol levels. It is unknown if vitamin C alone decreases the effects of niacin plus simvastatin on good cholesterol levels.

Nicardipine (Cardene)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C is taken up by cells. Taking nicardipine (Cardene) along with vitamin C might decrease how much vitamin C is taken in by cells. The significance of this interaction is not clear.

Nifedipine (Procardia)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C is taken up by cells. Taking nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia) along with vitamin C might decrease how much vitamin C is taken in by cells. The significance of this interaction is not clear.

Pentobarbital (Nembutal)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Taking vitamin C with pentobarbital might increase the sedative effects of pentobarbital.

Salsalate (Disalcid)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of salsalate (Disalcid). Taking vitamin C along with salsalate (Disalcid) might cause too much salsalate (Disalcid) in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of salsalate.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin) might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Interactions with Herbs, Supplements, and Foods

Acerola

Acerola contains high levels of vitamin C. Don't take large amounts of acerola along with vitamin C. This might give you too much vitamin C. Adults should not take more than 2000 mg vitamin C per day.

Cherokee rosehip

Cherokee rosehip contains high levels of vitamin C. Don't take large amounts of Cherokee rosehip along with vitamin C. This might give you too much vitamin C. Adults should not take more than 2000 mg vitamin C per day.

Chromium

There is some information that suggests that vitamin C increases chromium absorption. Don't take large doses of chromium and vitamin C together. It isn't known whether separating the doses by several hours avoids this interaction.

Copper

High doses of vitamin C (1500 mg daily) can decrease copper levels in the blood in young men. Researchers aren't sure why this happens, but it may be that the acid in vitamin C converts copper to a form that doesn't pass easily from food in the intestine to the bloodstream. Or it may be that vitamin C somehow causes the body to use up copper in the blood. This interaction probably isn't important except in people whose dietary levels of copper is low.

Grape

These is early evidence that people with high blood pressure who take both vitamin C 500 mg/day plus grape seed polyphenols 1000 mg/day have significantly increased blood pressure. Researchers aren't sure why this happens.

Iron

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron when taken at the same time. Taking a vitamin C supplement to improve absorption of iron from the diet or from supplements probably isn't necessary for most people, especially if their diet contains plenty of vitamin C.

Niacin

Niacin can increase good cholesterol levels. Taking vitamin C along with selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamin E might decrease the effects of niacin on good cholesterol levels. It is not known if vitamin C alone decreases the effects of niacin on good cholesterol levels.

Rosehip

Rosehip contains high levels of vitamin C. Don't take large amounts of rosehip along with vitamin C. This might give you too much vitamin C. Adults should not take more than 2000 mg vitamin C per day.

Vitamin B12

Early research suggests that vitamin C supplements can destroy vitamin B12 that comes from the diet. However, other ingredients in food, such as iron and nitrates, might counteract this effect. Researchers aren't sure how important this interaction is, but it can likely be avoided if vitamin C supplements are taken at least 2 hours after meals.

There are no known interactions with foods.

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