Now, while most properties of Vitamin C help both genders the same, especially in boosting immunity, there are some that work particularly well for women. As women multi-task around the clock, lead hectic lifestyles and often fall prey to many lifestyle diseases, supplements like Vitamin C balance what their diets could be missing, let’s take a closer look at the advantages of Vitamin C for women.
An antioxidant essential for collagen production
This water-soluble nutrient acts a powerful antioxidant is needed for the development and maintenance of arterioles, scar tissues and cartilage. Collagen is a substance that is naturally produced by the body. However, the production of this substance diminishes as people grow older. Vitamin C plays an integral part in the production of collagen which therefore decreases wrinkles and the symptoms and signs of aging.
During pregnancy and lactation
Due to the needs of the developing foetus and the growing infant, vitamin C requirements are enhanced for pregnant and lactating women. The Vitamin C status of pregnant women is often lower than non-pregnant women, presumably due to active transfer of Vitamin C to the foetus. Women with complications of pregnancy can have much lower vitamin C status l. Supplementation of pregnant women with Vitamin C can potentially decrease the risk of pregnancy-related complications.
For stress and hypertension
Stress can affect various processes in the body like hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility in women and men as well as digestion and immune function. When your body is exposed to stressful stimuli, the body makes the body makes it the priority over many other important processes. Vitamin C helps in dealing with typical indicators of physical and emotional stress. It also decreases the level of stress hormones. Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women but is often underestimated and undiagnosed. Incidences of abnormally high blood pressure can be lowered by the regular intake of Vitamin C.
Increase in iron absorption
Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb. As a result, it may help reduce the risk of anaemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
Lowers the risk of heart disease
Vitamin C supplements have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. These supplements may reduce the impact of known risk factors for heart disease such as high blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Menstrual flow regulation
Vitamin C can elevate your estrogen levels and lower progesterone levels. This causes the uterus to contract and the lining of the uterus to break down, leading to the onset of menstruation.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
The daily intake of Vitamin C depends on the country you are residing in. In India, you need 65-115 mg of Vitamin C depending on your age.
Girls 13 to 15 years
Girls 16-18 years
How should you be getting your Vitamin C?
Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes are major contributors of Vitamin C. Other good food sources include red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe. Not all fruits and vegetables have equal levels of Vitamin C. For instance, bananas and apples are quite low in Vitamin C whereas oranges, strawberries, tomato, kiwi have a higher content. Vitamin C supplements are available as tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, gummies, and effervescent tablets. Not all Vitamin C supplements are created equal. To better ensure quality and safety, choose supplements that have been tested and certified by an authorised certifying body, such as the FSSAI (The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from the diet or supplements. Vitamin C plays an important role in strengthening your immune system thus enabling you to lead a healthy life.
By Dr. Sushila Kataria, Senior Director, Internal Medicine, Medanta