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Helping ourselves through the winter months (Part 2)

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This means that it is not actually stored within our bodies, so we must consume it daily.  This important vitamin plays a major role in:

What causes deficiency?

Poor diet, alcoholism, eating disorders, smoking and dialysis can all contribute to vitamin C deficiency.

Symptoms of deficiency

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are many and varied. Here are just some signs and symptoms to look out for, although this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C can be obtained through a healthy balanced diet. Since our bodies cannot store this vitamin, we must consume it daily. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of this nutrient, with cherries, blackcurrants, sweet red peppers, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges, strawberries and broccoli being particularly good sources. It must be remembered that vitamin C rapidly breaks down when exposed to heat, so raw fruit and vegetables are recommended where possible.

A further discovery has been made in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Numerous studies being reported globally are demonstrating that vitamin C levels are typically low in critically ill hospitalised patients with both respiratory infections, pneumonia, sepsis and C-19. You can read more here.

The Swiss Society of Nutrition recommends a supplement of 200mg of vitamin C for everyone, “to fill the nutrient gap for the general population and especially for the adults aged 65 and older. This supplement is targeted to strengthen the immune system.”

From a personal perspective, as I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and being susceptible to iron deficiency anaemia, I have been taking a vitamin C supplement for some time. I take Nu U Nutrition’s 1000mg Vitamin C tablets. Like many vitamin C supplements of this dosage, they are a little on the large side, but taking these causes me no problems.

Please remember, it’s important that we do not not let supplementation replace a healthy lifestyle and diet but instead use it to assist in maintaining healthy levels of this important vitamin. If you do have any concerns regarding any aspect of your health, please seek medical advice from your health care professional.

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