Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles in the body. Most people can get enough vitamin C from a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, there are certain circumstances when a person may need extra vitamin C, including:
Infections and Illness: During periods of infections and illness, the body's immune system requires higher levels of vitamin C to fight off the infection and support healing.
Stress: Physical and emotional stress can increase the body's demand for vitamin C.
Limited intake of fruits and vegetables: People who do not consume enough fruits and vegetables in their diet may be at risk of vitamin C deficiency.
High-Intensity Exercise: During intense exercise, the body undergoes oxidative stress, which can lead to the production of free radicals that can damage cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to neutralize these free radicals and support recovery.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding women have higher requirements for vitamin C due to the increased demands of fetal and infant growth.
Smoking: Smoking increases the body's need for vitamin C, as it can lead to oxidative stress and damage to cells.
In these circumstances, individuals may benefit from taking a vitamin C supplement or increasing their intake of vitamin C-rich foods. It's important to note that while vitamin C supplements are generally considered safe, taking excessive amounts of vitamin C can cause digestive upset and other side effects. It's always best to talk to a healthcare provider before taking any new supplements or making significant changes to your diet. Organic plant-based sources of vitamin C are generally better tolerated and less likely to cause side effects.