Who does not know vitamin C? Almost everyone knows vitamin C, because this vitamin can be easily found in various types of fruits and vegetables. Even vitamin C can also be in the form of supplements, which many people consume as a way to maintain a healthy body.
However, what exactly is vitamin C? How much vitamin C intake does the body need?
Get to know Vitamin C and its benefits
Vitamin C or in chemical terms known as ascorbic acid (C6H8O6) is a water soluble substance and is available as a supplement, widely consumed by the public. Vitamin C is naturally found in red and yellow fruits and vegetables such as oranges, papaya, strawberries, and some vegetables (Dewi, 2015).
Most animals and plants can synthesize ascorbic acid for their own needs, but humans cannot produce it themselves because they do not have the enzyme gulunolactate oxidase, an enzyme that plays a role in the formation of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C plays an important role in many physiological processes in humans. Necessary for tissue repair in all parts of the body.
Important functions of vitamin C include the formation of proteins used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels for wound healing and scar tissue formation, to repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth and to aid in the absorption of iron. It can also act as a reducing and limiting agent for metal nanoparticles (Devaki, 2017). Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a role in protecting the body from free radicals.
Free radicals are a form of reactive oxygen compounds, which are generally known as compounds that have unpaired electrons. Free radicals can be formed during normal metabolism, such as when food components are converted into energy forms.
In this metabolic process, electron leakage often occurs which easily forms free radicals such as superoxide and hydroxyl anions. Oxidizing substances or other free radicals can also come from outside the body such as cigarette smoke, car smoke, pollutants, and others (Ernawati, 2009).
How Much Vitamin C Intake Does the Body Need?
As explained above that vitamin C can be obtained from food intake, especially from fruits and vegetables, such as Crystal guava fruit contains 225 mg/100 grams, monkey guava contains 265 mg/100 grams, and oranges contain 45 mg/100 grams. But actually, how much vitamin C intake does the body need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) recommends the intake of vitamin C at the following doses: for ages >19 years, boys are 90 mg/day while girls are 75 mg/day, pregnant women are 85 mg/day, and breastfeeding mothers at 120 mg/day. Meanwhile, the need for vitamin C in children based on age is as follows: 0-9 months 40 mg/day, 7-12 months 50 mg/day, 1-3 years 15 mg/day, and 4-6 years 25 mg/day. day.
Therefore, it is we who must measure how much vitamin C needs according to the condition of each individual’s body. If the condition of our body is considered healthy and food intake is sufficient, then we do not need to take vitamin C supplements. However, if the opposite happens, we can add supplement tablets containing vitamin C according to the dose above.
Vitamin C is water soluble, easily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Excretion through urine in the intact form. Some reports of side effects of vitamin C are that if the dose is more than 1 gram / day can cause diarrhea, in the long term kidney stones can occur, because some vitamin C is metabolized as Ca oxalate.
Seeing the benefits and risks of using vitamin C above, the addition of vitamin C supplements does not have to be done every day, as long as our food intake is balanced and contains enough vitamin C as needed. When your immune condition is unstable or you really need to eat just right when you add supplements containing vitamin C.
Devaki, SJ and Raveendran, RL, (2017). Vitamin C: sources, functions, sensing and analysis. In Vitamin C. IntechOpen.