Vitamin C supplements during COVID-19: Myths and Facts

Vitamin C is gaining more popularity than ever and everyone seems to be stocking up on Vitamin C pills. Do you know if you should do it too or whether it will help?

What does Vitamin C do?

  • Keeps your skin, bones, cartilages, teeth, and blood vessels etc healthy
  • Aids in absorption of Iron from vegetarian sources of Iron
  • Helps in healing of wounds
  • Maintenance of good immune function
  • Protects from the damage caused to the body by harmful substances like free radicals or toxins like smoke and other pollutants

How much do you need?

A healthy person without any issues needs about 40mg of Vitamin C every day. It is a water-soluble vitamin which does not get stored in the body. Therefore, at least 40mg of Vitamin C needs to be consumed every day.

Who needs to take a supplement?

Vitamin C can help in reducing the complications of cold or respiratory infections like flu and COVID-19. Therefore, it is being used as a part of the treatment given to the COVID patients. However, it does not help in preventing an infection (even COVID), it only helps in reducing the complications once you have already caught an infection. Therefore, if you do not have a cold or flu, you do not need to take a supplement as long as you can have your daily intake through food. However, if you have any other diseases in which Vitamin C can help, your doctor may advise you to take it.

Since Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, a little excess can get excreted through urine. However, it is not okay to routinely take a supplement without anyone’s advice because it may put extra pressure on your kidneys to excrete the extra, unwanted Vitamin C. Hence, it is always advisable to meet your intake through food.

How does one get enough Vitamin C through food?

  • We all know how Amla is the best source of Vitamin C. If you can eat a whole Amla or have the juice of an Amla you can get your daily intake at one go. Including Amla candies or chutneys can also be a good way to take your daily dose of Vitamin C.
  • A lot of us believe that lemons are very good sources of Vitamin C. However, a teaspoon of lemon juice can only give you about 2.5mg of it. A whole big orange can give you about 40mg.
  • Even though we only think of amla, lemon and oranges when we think of Vitamin C, there are many other sources. Here are some of the lesser known but rich sources of Vitamin C:
  • An important thing to note about Vitamin C is that it gets lost due to heat. Raw things have way more Vitamin C than cooked ones. So, fruits are the best sources since we can eat them raw. The vegetables can be eaten steamed or slightly cooked.

For more information on this topic, you can check this post.

Please note that this is an informative post and not a medical advice. For any specific issues, please consult a medical practitioner.