Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble nutrient that functions as a key antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize unstable compounds in your body called free radicals, thereby preventing or reversing cellular damage. It has been shown to prevent viral infections by enhancing the innate immune response.
Viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) or influenza are usually associated with increased oxidative stress leading to cellular and tissue damage. Vitamin C has demonstrated beneficial therapeutic properties and a good safety profile throughout a wide range of clinical applications. Administration of high-dose Vitamin C decreases inflammation and virulence (which is the ability of a virus to multiply within its host) by optimising immune defence. Overall, Vitamin C intake may exert some effects in shortening the infection course and prevent complications. Research is continuing to provide more insight into its potential role and efficacy in viral infections.
Recommendations for Vitamin C intake by adults vary among countries. Generally, the adult Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 75mg - 90 mg per day with a tolerable upper intake level (UL) of 2,000 mg.
However, the actual amount of Vitamin C that enters the body’s circulation upon oral ingestion differs depending on the form. This parameter is called bioavailability. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the various formulations of this essential vitamin: |
Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 2000. pp. 95–185. https://www.gpo.gov/.../pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf
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