What Are the Benefits of Ester-C?

Oranges
Ester-C has more vitamin C per serving than an orange. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

If you're looking for a way to boost your immune system and keep yourself well, you might be intrigued by the claims made by the manufacturers of Ester-C, which state that the product is a simple way to protect your immunity. The product does contain some beneficial nutrients, but before you use the remedy, check with your doctor to be sure that it's right for you.

Nice Dose of Vitamin C

A dose of Ester-C supplies between 500 and 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, which is much more than the 75 milligrams women need each day and the 90 milligrams men should have, according to the Institute of Medicine's recommendations. It's thought that vitamin C can prevent the common cold, but according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, that's not the case for most people. Instead, taking 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C per day might help shorten the duration of a cold and help reduce the associated symptoms, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports.

A Few More Nutrients, Too

Ester-C products supply a small amount of bone-building calcium with amounts ranging from 6 to 11 percent of your daily needs per dose. The calcium also supports nerve and muscle function, as well as hormone secretion, according to the National Institutes of Health. Ester-C with vitamin D-3 supplies 2,000 international units of vitamin D, which is much more than the 600 IU healthy adults need every day. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and plays a role in cell function, too.

The Claims

The Ester-C website states that its special formulation of vitamin C stays in your white blood cells for 24 hours, which it claims keeps your immune system strong and working normally. Although it's true that vitamin C is necessary for immunity, taking huge doses isn't associated with a reduced risk of getting sick. The version with added vitamin D-3 is formulated to keep your cells working efficiently, which the Ester-C company claims might boost your immunity. None of these claims, however, are supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Potential Side Effects of Ester-C?

If you're looking for a way to boost your vitamin C intake, Ester-C can help you accomplish that goal, but always ask your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Ester-C can cause side effects, such as heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, headache and increase in urination. Taking much more than the recommended daily dosage can cause migraine headaches, faintness, dizziness, kidney stones and flank pain, though these are rare side effects, according to the Drugs.com website.

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