Vitamin C is an important vitamin in the body that plays a role in numerous processes, including collagen formation and the production of proteins and signaling molecules.
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Some studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation might improve bone mineral density, particularly in postmenopausal women.
It is recommended that men over the age of 18 have at least 90 mg per day of vitamin C, which can come from food or supplements. Having too little can be dangerous for your health.
Vitamin C supplements can interact with certain medications. If you have questions about the medications you are on, talk to your healthcare provider before taking vitamin C supplements.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in several of the body’s processes. The other water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins. In the body, vitamin C is essential for the production of various proteins, signaling molecules, and collagen, a protein found in connective tissue (including bones). Because it is required for the production of collagen, vitamin C is essential for normal wound healing and connective tissue formation. Vitamin C also functions as an antioxidant and it supports immune health. Vitamin C cannot be made in the body and must be ingested.
Where does vitamin C come from?
Vitamin C is typically found in fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, have the most vitamin C, along with red peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and other common produce. Some other foods, including breakfast cereals, are sometimes fortified with vitamin C. This means that vitamin C is added to the food in a public health effort to help make sure everybody is getting enough each day (4).
What are the health benefits of vitamin C?
Vitamin C plays numerous roles in the body and is essential for normal functioning. A lot of research has looked into the health benefits of vitamin C supplementation, in some cases yielding positive results. More research still needs to be done, but in certain populations, vitamin C may be able to improve cardiovascular health and decrease the progression of eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (4).
Vitamin C is also often touted as a supplement that can be taken to support immune health and to protect against the common cold. In studies, vitamin C has not shown any efficacy at preventing disease except for in people who have undergone brief periods of intense exercise. However, vitamin C supplementation has been seen to reduce the duration of colds if taken prophylactically. The same benefit is not seen if it is taken after an individual is already sick (4).
Vitamin C may also have the following health benefits, which is why it was chosen to be an ingredient in the Roman Dailies:
Some studies have shown that vitamin C may be related to bone mineral density, particularly in postmenopausal women. One study compared a group that received supplementation with two antioxidants (1,000 mg per day of vitamin C and 600 mg per day of vitamin E) with a group that underwent resistance training and a placebo group. After six months, the placebo group experienced some bone loss while those who received supplementation and those who underwent resistance training had stable bone mineral density (1). Another study in postmenopausal women who had 407 mg per day of vitamin C (between food and supplements) found that vitamin C intake from the diet was not associated with higher bone mineral density but vitamin C supplementation was (2). And a more recent review of several studies found that dietary vitamin C intake was associated with a 33% lower risk of osteoporosis and a lower risk of hip fracture (3). While these findings are promising, more research still needs to be done before the full effects of vitamin C on bone health can be known.
How much vitamin C is recommended?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 90 mg per day for men over the age of 18. Women over the age of 18 should have 75 mg per day unless they are pregnant (85 mg per day) or breastfeeding (120 mg per day). It is also noted that male and female smokers may need an additional 35 mg per day of vitamin C. The RDA represents the daily amount of a vitamin that is considered sufficient for 97–98% of healthy individuals.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin C is 2,000 mg per day for both men and women over the age of 18. Repeated intake of amounts greater than the UL can lead to poor health outcomes (4).
What are the symptoms of having too little vitamin C?
Vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy. Scurvy is not very common but does occur when there is inadequate access to dietary sources of vitamin C. This used to occur in sailors who were out to sea and who didn’t have access to fruits. Without adequate intake of vitamin C, within one month, collagen and other connective tissues in the body become weak. This leads to:
- Bleeding and bruising
- Joint pain
- Poor wound healing
- Thickening of the skin
- Hairs that twist around
What are the symptoms of having too much vitamin C?
Vitamin C is generally well-tolerated and is not believed to cause serious issues when taken in excess. When symptoms do occur, they include (4):
- Abdominal pain
There are reports of other symptoms and conditions caused by vitamin C toxicity, but the evidence is lacking or unclear. The possibilities include:
- Increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular problem
- Problems with the absorption of iron
- Increased cellular damage
- Reduced levels of vitamin B12
- Reduced levels of copper
What to look for in a good vitamin C supplement:
As a supplement, vitamin C can come in several forms including ascorbic acid (with or without bioflavonoids), sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other types of ascorbate, and various combination products. Ascorbic acid is the most common form, it is relatively cheap, and it is absorbed in the body the same way that ascorbic acid from food is absorbed. As a result, ascorbic acid is generally considered the best form to use for supplementation.
How does Roman offer vitamin C?
Roman obtains vitamin C from a non-GMO source in China. It is available synthetically as ascorbic acid. It is Kosher.
Roman offers vitamin C in the following supplements:
Vitamin C is one of ten main ingredients in Roman’s Bone Health supplement. The supplement consists of three tablets that should be taken with water. Each individual tablet contains 333.33 mg of vitamin C, for a total daily dose of 1,000 mg.
Other ingredients in the tablets include calcium citrate, D-alpha tocopheryl succinate, magnesium citrate, silicon dioxide, boron citrate, menaquinone-4, menaquinone-7, phytonadione, cholecalciferol, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, dicalcium phosphate, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, and pharmaceutical glaze (shellac, povidone).
Does vitamin C interact with any other drugs or medical conditions?
Vitamin C interacts with several other medications. If you are taking any of the following medications, it is important you talk to your healthcare provider before beginning vitamin C supplementation (please note that this list may not be exhaustive and other medications may also interact with vitamin C) (4):
- Chemotherapy and radiation: The evidence is unclear, but it is possible that vitamin C and other antioxidants might protect cancer cells from cancer treatments.
- Statins: It is recommended that people taking statins and antioxidants have their cholesterol levels monitored.
- Chuin A, Labonté M, Tessier D, et al. Effect of antioxidants combined to resistance training on BMD in elderly women: a pilot study. Osteoporosis International. 2008;20(7):1253-1258. doi:10.1007/s00198-008-0798-5.
- Leveille SG, Lacroix AZ, Koepsell TD, Beresford SA, Belle GV, Buchner DM. Dietary vitamin C and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women in Washington State, USA. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 1997;51(5):479-485. doi:10.1136/jech.51.5.479.
- Malmir H, Shab-Bidar S, Djafarian K. Vitamin C intake in relation to bone mineral density and risk of hip fracture and osteoporosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. British Journal of Nutrition. 2018;119(8):847-858. doi:10.1017/s0007114518000430.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed November 21, 2019.