We all need vitamin C everyday in order to remain strong and healthy. It’s a key nutrient that supports the immune system and cellular health. This is one of the main selling points of the vitamin C supplement industry, and they rake in billions of dollars a year by convincing people that they need to take a pill or two a day. However, these claims are not necessarily true, and many people are wasting their money on a supplement that they really don’t need.
They Work, but We Don’t Need Much
There’s no argument that vitamin C supplements work. In fact, vitamin C is one of the few supplements that is absorbed and processed by the body in the same way as nutrients from food sources. However, what we don’t hear a lot about from the industry is that our bodies can only hold a small amount of vitamin C in the bloodstream at any given point in time. By default, our bodies try to maintain about 3000mg of vitamin C. Once that threshold is reached, excess amounts are excreted as waste.
Additionally, the blood can only hold around 200mg or so at any given point in time, so taking higher doses really doesn’t provide much of a benefit. Keep in mind that nutritional guidelines suggest that adults only need about 100mg or so per day to meet their daily requirement unless we have some kind of deficiency. However, if we’re sick, then the body can absorb more because it needs more in its attempt to fight-off the ailment.
So, the only time that we really need high-doses of vitamin C is when we’re either sick or we have some kind of deficiency.
Consistency is Key
It’s also important to remember that the body doesn’t produce its own vitamin C, and it also doesn’t get stored over the long-term. Consequently, we need to be ingesting small doses on a regular basis in order to maintain optimal levels of this nutrient, and supplements can help in that regard.
The biggest benefit of supplements for us is that we can store them in our stockpiles or emergency medicine cabinets for use in a crisis when we may not be able to get vitamin C from our food. However, under normal circumstances, eating a balanced diet will probably give you more than you need, and taking supplements is essentially pointless.
Not as Good?
While the body absorbs vitamin C supplements almost perfectly, there are studies that suggest that some of the disease-fighting properties may not be as potent as those in nutrients from natural sources. This is probably linked to the fact that we get a wide-range of other nutrients when we eat fresh foods that we don’t get from the supplement alone. Consequently, it may be a better idea to view vitamin C supplements as just that– supplements to the real deal.
The same can be said of many other supplements. They are beneficial, but their benefits don’t come close to what we obtain from natural sources. A lot of people are under the impression that taking supplements daily can replace healthy eating, and this is wrong. Supplements can support a healthy diet, but they only do so much, and this includes vitamin C.
Don’t think twice about using and stocking up on supplements. Supplements work great in a pinch, but they’re not a shortcut. Make sure that you’re also building up a healthy emergency food supply that includes everything that you need nutrition-wise during a prolonged crisis, and chances are that you’ll feel better and stay healthier as a result.