Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) represents one of the 13 most important nutrients of an expecting mother, as it`s a very powerful antioxidant which offers protection against illnesses and birth defects. However, be aware! It`s crucial to talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C supplements.
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Why Do Pregnant Women Need More Vitamin C?
Vitamin C stimulates your immune system (an aspect especially beneficial for women carrying a pregnancy), prevents stretch marks, aids absorb iron and protects against anemia. Collagen offers elasticity to the woman`s tissues, so the occurrence of stretch marks is prevented.
Regarding the relationship with pregnancy, it needs to be mentioned that this vitamin represents a basic adjuvant for the proper maintenance of pregnancy as well as the development of the fetus.
The most important roles of this vitamin represent the formation of collagen, fetal nervous system, cartilage, gums and bones. As already mentioned, it also has a very strong role as an antioxidant, favoring a good immunization of the entire body.
Together with vitamin E, it reduces the risk of preeclampsia (caused by premature labor and high blood pressure in pregnancy) in a significant way.
Any women who is interested in conceiving a child needs to being taking this vitamin at least once per month before pregnancy, so the body can be better prepared for pregnancy.
Vitamin C aids to increase the iron level in the organism as well, being very important before birth, and knowing that the woman tends to lose a high amount of blood at birth.
The placenta represents the shelter where the baby is wrapped during pregnancy. A regular vitamin C consumption will strengthen the placenta and will lead to higher chances for the baby to be born strong and healthy.
Daily Requirement for Vitamin C during Pregnancy
- Pregnant women: 85 mg/day.
- Pregnant women: up to 18 years old: 80 mg/day.
- Breastfeeding women: 120 mg/day.
- Women under 18 years of age: 115 mg.
Note: You should keep in mind that you don`t really need to follow this requirement every day, but rather try and stick to a constant average on a weekly basis.
Healthy Source of Vitamin C during Pregnancy
The most well known source of vitamin C are oranges, consumed either eaten or as a juice. You should know that the citric shell is very rich in bioflavonoids, which are substance that increase the absorption of vitamin C.
However, you can find vitamin C in the following as well:
- Brussels sprouts.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Red & green pepper.
Here are the vitamin C amounts that some of these foods contain:
|225 ml of oranges||124 mg|
|225 ml of grapefruit juice||94 mg|
|1 kiwi||70 mg|
|½ cup pieces of red pepper||59 mg|
|½ cup strawberries cut||49 mg|
|½ cup boiled broccoli||51 mg|
|½ medium grapefruit||44 mg|
|½ cup melon||23 mg|
|½ boiled cabbage||28 mg|
|1 baked potato with bark||20 mg|
|½ cup of raspberry||16 mg|
|½ cup cherry red||10 mg|
Can a Pregnant Woman Take Vitamin C Supplements?
When taken in the recommended daily amounts of 85 mg, vitamin C is more likely safe for both pregnant and nursing women. Taking too much of this vitamin while pregnant might lead to issues for the baby and might increase the risk of premature birth. Taking vitamin C in excess might upset the stomach as well.
Your best choice is to eat a large selection of fruits and vegetables each day, which should include one reach food in this vitamin. And if you are taking your prenatal vitamins, you are perhaps getting enough vitamin C already, so you don`t really need to take additional supplements.
Is Vitamin C Good for Fertility?
There`s a study done in the beginning of the 1990s showing that the levels of ascorbic acid, which is a form of our vitamin) are a lot high in seminal fluid in comparison with other fluids in the body, blood included. This particular study showed that reduction in the levels of vitamin C can be detrimental to the health of sperm. When dietary vitamin C has been decreased from 250 mg to only 5 mg per day, the levels of ascorbic acid in seminal fluid decreased by half, and the number of spermatozoids which had DNA damage increased by almost 91%. These particular results show that crucial importance of vitamin C when it comes to preventing male infertility.
And the good news continues! Supplementation of vitamin C has been indicated to increase the sperm quality for people who smoke as well, and decrease sperm agglutination, making them more capable of movement.
Scientists have also shown that ascorbic acid has an essential role in the ovarian function and regulation of the menstrual cycle. The excretion of ascorbic acid is increased and decreases right before ovulation, only then to increase again when temperature rises after ovulation. These levels of ascorbic acid are generally stimulatory to the oxytocin and progesterone hormones, and have found in high amounts in the corpus luteum.
Can Vitamin C Increase Estrogen?
Consuming supplement of this vitamin may increase the levels of estrogen, therefore reducing the efficiency of birth control pills. Although the exact effects of our vitamin on the effectiveness of oral contraceptives aren`t yet completely understood, overdoses of vitamin C may increase your risk of conceiving when this type of contraceptives. Contact your physician and talk to him about the safety of your vitamin supplements in relation with birth control pills.
Is Vitamin C Good an Energy Booster?
While vitamin C doesn`t really prevent oxidative damage or boosts energy, it`s still an important water-soluble vitamin. Since our vitamin is water soluble, there`s a really low toxicity chance. The upper intake level of tolerability for this vitamin is 2,000 mg/day.
Can You Take Vitamin C to Prevent Pregnancy?
Until now, there`s no indisputable proof that this vitamin increases your chances for abortion. There are speculations that exist when it comes to vitamin C influencing the pregnancy, especially when talking about early pregnancy, as it makes the uterine membrane thinner, therefore making it rather unsuitable place for an egg that is fertilized. If this should be true, it would a useful information for women who cannot handle contraceptive pills or don`t take them.
Can Taking too Much Vitamin C Kill You?
The good news is that this cannot happen in the event that you overdose from vitamin C. The limit is considering to be about 2,000 mg. For people who happen to consume this particular amount in one single day, signs like heartburn, insomnia, kidney stones, vomiting or headache might come soon after taking the actual vitamin. Still, anything more than 1,000 mg might cause diarrhea.