By Eric D. Griggs M.D. and Melissa Gallanter.
It’s the cold and flu season, and sneezes
are being spread around. One of the first
fixes that many people lean on with
the first symptoms of a cold or the flu
is vitamin C supplementation, whether
that means drinking a whole gallon of
orange juice or taking a vitamin C supplement
that provides over 1,000% of the
daily recommended intake. It’s easy to
assume that taking 10 times more than
what we’re recommended would be 10
times better, but looking a little deeper
into the research out there might change
Research shows that supplementing
with 200 mg or more of vitamin C didn’t
actually reduce the risk of catching a
cold. It only reduced the amount of time
that individuals were at risk by 10%. This
means that the cold that might have
lasted 10 days, instead only lasted nine.
The difference is not striking.
The nutrition concept to learn here
is that there are two kinds of vitamins.
There are fat-soluble vitamins and
water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble
vitamins dissolve in water and pass into
the blood through digestion. The body
isn’t able to store these vitamins, so they
need to be replenished regularly through
diet. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed,
stored and transported in fat. The body
stores these vitamins in fatty tissues, the
liver, and the kidneys.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin,
which means that the body doesn’t store
it. Extra vitamin C - that is, vitamin C
beyond the amount the body needs - is
excreted in urine. So, consuming 100% of
the daily recommended intake of vitamin
C doesn’t end up doing too much in the
body after all.
On the other hand, overloading with
larger-than-normal doses can actually
cause vitamin C to accumulate and can
lead to overdose symptoms including
stomach upset and diarrhea, according
to the research.
Getting enough vitamin C through
diet is the best way to reach its recommended
daily intake. For adult females,
the recommended dietary allowance of
vitamin C is 75 mg, and for adult males,
the recommended dietary allowance
is 90 mg.
Great food sources of vitamin C
include bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels
sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, oranges
(and other citrus fruits), tomatoes, kiwi,
cantaloupe, cauliflower, and kale.
Welcome to “Health Talkin’
with Doc Griggs.” In conjunction
with the Xavier University
School of Pharmacy Health
& Wellness Center, we will
discuss topics that we find
most relevant in our community.
Our shared goal is to
help you Get Checked. Get
Fit. Get Moving!™
14 | BREAKTHRU MEDIA | breakthrumediamagazine.com MARC H / A P R I L 2 0 1 9