Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is an antioxidant that plays an important role in the body. It not only protects the body’s cells from damage, but it is also needed to maintain the health of skin, teeth, bone, cartilage, and blood vessels. Some studies have shown that it also helps improve brain function in people with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Most people gain the essential amount of ascorbic acid needed from their diet. Others may require supplementation. Without the proper amount of vitamin C, people are at risk for cardiovascular illness, compromised immune systems, premature aging, increased stress response, and poor energy production. Extreme vitamin C deficiency can lead to a condition called scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include rash or brown spots on the skin, muscle weakness, pale skin, joint pain, tiredness, depression, or tooth loss.
Ascorbic acid is available and sold inexpensively over-the-counter. It is also found in foods, such as citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, raw bell peppers, and strawberries. It is said that prolonged storage or cooking of these foods may reduce the content of vitamin C. It is generally well tolerated, but in large doses can cause stomach upset, headache, insomnia, and flushing of the skin.
Ascorbic acid is indicated for the prevention and treatment of scurvy. Other indications include hemovascular disorders, burns, aging, delayed fracture and wound healing, prevention of cardiovascular issues, cognitive impairments such as dementia, and in shortening the length of common colds.
- – Heartburn
- – Diarrhea
- – Nausea
- – Stomach cramps
- – Stomachache
- – If hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat occur, this is an allergic reaction and requires emergency medical attention
Patients who are diabetic, prone to kidney stones, undergoing stool occult blood tests, those on sodium-restricted diets, and those on anticoagulant therapy should not take excessive amounts of ascorbic acid over an extended period of time. Ascorbic acid is not recommended in those who are pregnant or nursing due to the uncertainty of fetal or infant harm.
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is normally administered orally with food except for those who suffer from malabsorption. This requires another route of administration. Ascorbic acid can also be given intramuscularly or intravenously. Patient dosages depend on their individual needs. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for any questions related to the dosage, route of administration, or for any questions or concerns.
There are many medications and supplements that can interact with ascorbic acid. It is very important to bring a list of the products and medications you are taking to prevent any future issues.