Vitamin C is essential for good health, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Liquid vitamin C is essential for those who desire vitamin C supplementation but who have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules.
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The vitamin, like vitamins A and E, is an antioxidant--a chemical compound that fights the effects of oxidation, or exposure to oxygen (think of how an apple browns when exposed to air). It is the only vitamin believed to play a role in every single body function. It's benefits are numerous, and the list of apparent benefits continues to grow. In liquid form, vitamin C has the added benefits of providing higher concentrations and better absorption than tablets or capsules, and providing ease of use, according to vitamin expert Dr. George Obikoya.
Vitamin C, including liquid vitamin C, has been known for it's immunity-boosting properties since it was discovered. A deficiency of the vitamin was linked with scurvy in the early 1900s. It has been touted as a preventive measure and remedy for colds and it plays an important role in protecting against some infections. The vitamin also guards against stress by promoting production of anti-stress hormones and neutralizes free radicals that can damage cells, thereby preventing damage from pollution and promoting wound healing.
Improved iron absorption, prevention of certain cancers such as breast cancer and lung cancer, and reduction of cholesterol levels are other possible benefits. Studies highlighting new benefits emerge regularly. A study published in the "Archives of Internal Medicine" in March 2009, for example, found that men with a vitamin C intake of 1,500 milligrams or more daily had a 45 percent lower risk of developing gout than those with an intake of less than 250 milligrams per day.
Vitamin C is not made by the body; it is obtained through diet and supplementation. Supplementation can help ensure that individuals receive enough of this essential vitamin and enjoy the many benefits it offers.
In liquid form, compared with pill form, vitamin supplements are more readily absorbed. Absorption of liquid vitamins, including vitamin C, is about 98 percent versus only 10 to 20 percent for pills, Dr. Obikoya explained in an article entitled "Why Liquid Multivitamins are Superior".
Liquid vitamins bypass the digestive process and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and into the cell, and therefore have faster-acting and stronger therapeutic benefits, he wrote.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for consumers, though, is that liquid vitamins bypass the "gag factor" that so many people struggle with when trying to down the often large and often strong-tasting vitamin pills. Not only is liquid easier to swallow for those consumers, liquid versions of vitamin C are available in various flavors such as citrus and strawberry to further enhance palatability.
The Right Supplement, the Right Dose
Select the right liquid vitamin C by comparing the ingredients of the numerous brands available and look for one that's not overloaded with artificial ingredients. Dr. Obikoya recommends enlisting the help of your pharmacist in obtaining information from manufacturers about the ingredients in their products if this information is not readily available on the label.
Dosing depends on a number of factors. The recommended daily intake is 90 mg for men over age 18 years, and 75 mg per day for women over 18 years old (85 mg if pregnant, 120 mg if breastfeeding). However, megadosing has been promoted as a way to better improve immune function. Although vitamin C supplementation is relatively safe even at very high doses and adverse effects of megadosing, such as diarrhea, are typically reversible, the Mayo Clinic recommends an upper limit of intake of 2,000 mg for men and women. Dosing in children should not exceed 400 mg daily in those ages 1 to 3 years old; 650 mg daily in those ages 4 to 8 years; 1,200 mg daily in those ages 9 to 13 years, and 1,000 mg daily in those ages 14 to 18 years.