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What are the effects of vitamin C? A lack of it can cause scurvy
Vitamin C is said to have various effects such as beauty and antioxidant effects. In nutrition textbooks, it is said that vitamin C is necessary for synthesizing collagen in skin and cells. If this continues, it becomes scurvy, and symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, pale complexion, bleeding from under the skin and gums, anemia, muscle loss, heart failure, and dyspnea occur.
In addition, since vitamin C has a strong antioxidant effect, it cooperates with vitamin E to eliminate active oxygen and protect cells.
You Need 50 Lemons a Day!? The Appropriate Intake of Vitamin C
According to the Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 edition), which indicates the daily energy and nutrient requirements for Japanese people, the required amount (recommended amount) of vitamin C for general adults is 100 mg per day. Smokers (including second-hand smokers) have a greater need for vitamin C than nonsmokers and should consume more than recommended.
Although it is 100 mg per day, it is said that scurvy does not develop if 6 to 12 mg is taken. Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, excess intake (100 mg or more per day) is excreted in the urine. Some people say that it is better to keep the vitamin C in the body in a saturated state, but it is still said that a saturated state can be maintained by taking 100 mg a day.
On the other hand, how much vitamin C for 50 lemons is about 1000 mg. In order to unify the standards of each company, food manufacturers calculate based on “20 mg of vitamin C per lemon fruit” as a standard. It turns out that the vitamin C in 50 lemons is 10 times the vitamin C you need in a day.
This is a bit off topic, but have you ever felt that your urine is more yellow than usual when you go to the bathroom after taking a multivitamin? This is because vitamin B2 has a fluorescent color, and the vitamin B2 that has not been absorbed passes through the body and is excreted in the urine. Since vitamin C is colorless and transparent when dissolved in water, the presence of vitamin C does not change the color of urine. It doesn’t make much sense if it comes out in the urine even if you drink it.
Risks of overdose of vitamin C and points to be aware of
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Even if you take a lot, the excess is excreted as urine.Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so basically it cannot be stored in the body. The surplus is said to be excreted in the urine. So far, there have been no reports of health problems caused by overdose.
However, it is known that the risk of renal oxalate stones increases when people with renal dysfunction take thousands of milligrams of vitamin C. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain may occur as an effect of overdose. There is also a report that if you continue to take 3000-4000mg a day, you will get diarrhea.
However, it is said that if you take 400 mg of vitamin C a day, your body will be saturated with vitamin C, and if you take 100 mg of vitamin C a day, you will be able to maintain that level. The excess is excreted in the urine, which is the same as slipping through the body and throwing it away. So, while you might want to think that you’ve had 10 days’ worth of vitamin C by drinking one vitamin C-rich drink, your vitamin C will be depleted after a few days if you neglect your diet. Considering that, I don’t think it’s necessary to take 1000mg in one drink.
According to the “Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 edition)” introduced earlier, “it is not recommended to take more than 1g/day of vitamin C from foods other than normal foods” (p.274). increase. Of course, unlike medicines, even if you accidentally ingest more than 1g (1000mg) of vitamin C, your health will not suddenly suffer. However, we humans have been taking only “natural foods” continuously since ancient times. The amount of vitamin C that can’t be taken from them, but the impact on the body is unknown.
How to get 100mg of vitamin C from food without relying on supplements
I made a list of the amount of intake when taking in a single food.
Citrus fruits provide 100mg per serving. However, vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so even if you take 100 mg at a time, it will be excreted in the urine. Therefore, it is more effective not to think only about vitamin C and forcefully stuff it in, but to incorporate vegetables skillfully so that the total of three meals is 100 mg.
For example, Komatsuna is about 13 mg because about half a bag fits in one small bowl. If you put Chinese cabbage in a pot, you can eat about 2 pieces, so about 10 to 20 mg, considering the loss due to heating. A small bowl of spinach is about 1/2 bundle (50-70g), so you can take about 10-15mg. About 10 mg of 1 bunch of broccoli is added to the main dish. If you think about it this way, you can get enough vitamin C by eating 5 to 6 small bowls of vegetables a day. If it’s about this amount, isn’t it an amount that can be eaten without much effort?
Instead of suddenly relying on supplements, I think it’s a good idea to consider whether you can really get the amount you need from natural foods.