Pregnancy has a huge impact on a woman’s body. Internal organs are subjected to increased stress. It is important to get the right amount of vitamins and minerals every day to ensure the health of the mother and child. This also applies to vitamin C.
About 20% of the adult population in the world is deficient in vitamin C. Its sufficient amount during pregnancy plays a role in the proper development of the fetus and the well-being of the mother. The body receives the norm of the substance with a balanced diet.
Lack and excess of the element are equally dangerous during pregnancy. A gynecologist can prescribe and regulate the use of synthesized vitamin C. It is important to follow his recommendations because self-medication can harm the fetus.
Why is vitamin C important during pregnancy?
Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It is concentrated in the adrenal glands, hypothalamus, corpus luteum, and thyroid gland. The load on the thyroid gland during pregnancy increases every month. A sufficient amount of vitamin C is necessary to maintain a woman’s endocrine system. Vitamin C plays an important role in fetal development and maternal health.
- Takes part in the synthesis of collagen, which is necessary for the growth of the connective tissues of the child.
- Promotes the absorption of iron by the fetus and mother, prevents anemia in the mother, and developmental delay in the child.
- Responsible for the body’s resistance to various viruses and supports the immune system.
- Helps to heal wounds and bruises faster.
- Gives vessels and veins elasticity and prevents the formation of stretch marks on the mother’s skin.
- Supports the formation of active forms of vitamin D. This is necessary for the strength of bones, tooth enamel, and the prevention of rickets in a child.
In most cases, it is possible to obtain the daily norm of vitamin C by observing the correct varied diet.
The required amount of vitamin C
Scientists have done a lot of research over the past fifty years and have concluded that pregnant women need to increase their intake of vitamins and minerals. The National Institutes of Health says that women should take 60-75 mg of vitamin C per day before pregnancy.
Nutrition during pregnancy should be reviewed to increase the daily dose of vitamin C. The usual norm of the element in the first trimester is enough. Vitamin C intake should be increased in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It is necessary to receive an average of 80-85 mg of vitamin per day.
It is important to consider the woman’s age. Pregnant women aged 18 years and younger need 80 mg of vitamin per day. Pregnant women aged 19 years and older are recommended to take 85 mg of vitamin C per day. Breastfeeding mothers need to increase the rate to 110-120 mg per day.
What foods contain zinc?
Vitamin C is a soluble vitamin. The human body does not store it. It is necessary to use fresh vegetables, fruits, and natural juices to get the daily norm of the substance. Heat treatment of foods partially destroys vitamin C.
According to many people, the highest concentration of vitamin C is found in citrus fruits. Oranges and grapefruits do contain vitamin C, but their higher concentration is in pepper, broccoli, currants, strawberries, kiwi, and guava.
Amount of Zinc in Common Foods per 1 LB:
How to Save More Vitamin C When Cooking
Most vitamin C is found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Many vegetables should not be eaten raw. Rarely is it possible to preserve the original amount of vitamin C in the process of cooking. The element is destroyed by prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Steaming and grilling vegetables will help keep the ascorbic acid levels high. Do not overcook vegetables. It is recommended to cook whole vegetables and cut them after cooling. Store fruits and vegetables in a cool, dark place. The amount of nutrients is reduced if they lie in direct sunlight.
How to determine your vitamin C level?
Women who want to know the exact content of vitamin C in the body can take tests for the presence of a substance in the blood. The study is carried out in the clinic. Based on the results, the doctor may prescribe supplements to maintain the patient’s health.
What does vitamin C deficiency lead to?
Acute vitamin C deficiency in adults appears after several weeks (sometimes months) of insufficient intake of the substance. The most dangerous manifestation of ascorbic acid deficiency is scurvy. This disease looks like loose bleeding gums. Scurvy is virtually non-existent in developed countries. Vitamin C deficiency in the adult population is characterized by other symptoms:
Frequent swelling and bleeding of the gums – These symptoms are independent of oral hygiene. They manifest themselves with a deficiency in the use of the daily norm of ascorbic acid.
Increased skin trauma – Bruises appear on the skin with slight pressure or shock and remain for a long period. Wounds, cuts, and hematomas with vitamin C deficiency heal for a long time.
Joint pain – Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Its deficiency causes the formation of inflammatory processes in the joints.
Tendency to infectious diseases – Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells. They increase the body’s resistance to infections and viruses. A person is more likely to get more colds when there is a lack of vitamin C.
Increased fatigue – Vitamin C deficiency affects alertness and performance. A person may feel lethargy, drowsiness, and loss of strength.
Problem skin – Vitamin C contributes to the production of collagen necessary for skin health. Its deficiency is manifested by rashes, dryness, and peeling of the skin.
Vitamin C deficiency in pregnant women is even more dangerous. A minimal lack of a substance in the mother slows down the work of the fetal hippocampus by 10-15 percent. Lack of substance interferes with the optimal development of the brain of the embryo.
What happens when you take too much vitamin C?
Compliance with a healthy diet practically cannot lead to an overabundance of ascorbic acid in the body. An excess of vitamin C occurs from taking a synthesized vitamin. It is necessary to use 2000 mg of the substance per day for this.
Side effects are manifested in the form of digestive disorders. A person may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Irritation of the urinary tract and frequent urination is also a symptom of ascorbic acid hypervitaminosis.
Excessive intake of vitamin C is dangerous because it can cause an overload of the body with iron. The use of an excessive amount of vitamin C poisons the internal organs if a person has a congenital hemochromatosis disease (a genetic predisposition to iron accumulation).
An excess of the substance provokes arthritis, and cirrhosis of the liver contributes to the formation of stones in the kidneys, and bladder. Abuse of synthesized vitamin C causes dizziness, headaches, to the formation of migraines. Convulsions are observed in rare cases.
Can you take Vitamin C Supplements?
Often pregnant women try to protect themselves from colds or vitamin deficiency by all available means. The World Health Organization does not recommend taking a synthesized ascorbic acid supplement without a recommendation from a gynecologist.
An excess of vitamin C can cause uterine bleeding and miscarriages in the first trimester of pregnancy. Doctors are very cautious in prescribing supplements in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy for acute vitamin C deficiency. The easiest way to adjust the content of vitamin C in the body is through diet.
Lack of vitamin C is dangerous for the development of the fetus. Excess in early pregnancy (taking pills) threatens premature birth. It is important to find a balance in the use of ascorbic acid. Women should coordinate the use of vitamin complexes with their doctors. This approach contributes to the normal development of the child and the preservation of the health of the mother.