Vitamin C and PMS – Why You Need Them
Vitamins are a large contributor to our overall health and are a requirement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When these vitamins fluctuate, there are serious consequences for our health. Vitamins are a part of the human system that we cannot live without.
They regulate all sorts of functions and systems. This means that vitamins can play an important role in regulating PMS symptoms for women.
PMS is something many women suffer from and there is a strong link to vitamin levels and PMS symptoms that can be avoided.
One of the most important vitamins in the body is vitamin C. Vitamin C is talked out frequently in the news and health articles; it is found in our foods and added as a supplement to many other foods and drinks. Many people do not realize what role vitamin C plays and how it can help women fight their PMS symptoms easily and effectively.
Many people associated vitamin C with orange juice, as that is the advertisement we are used to seeing, but there are many other places in the diet to get vitamin C. There are also many uses the body has for vitamin C and those do include fighting PMS symptoms.
What Does Vitamin C Do
Vitamin C is an important vitamin to human nutrition. It is also known by L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate. These are the scientific names given to vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which is vital to the body. Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress refers to making sure the cells of the body do not become toxic or damaged. Vitamin C is also required to prevent scurvy. A disease that causes lethargy, depression, wounds to the body, and bleeding for mucus membranes.
Vitamin C also has some implications for PMS symptoms like bloating, fatigue, breast swelling and heavy menstrual bleeding.
There are many benefits to getting the appropriate levels of vitamin C in a diet. Deficiencies in vitamin C can lead to serious health risks.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that humans ingest vitamin C, the body uses what it needs and the rest is excreted through urination. Since the vitamin is not stored up in the body, it is a vitamin that requires constant replenishment through diet or supplementation.
This makes creating a vitamin C deficiency easy as the body does not have stores of it to use when it needs it.
If vitamin C is not replaced through diet or supplements, a deficiency can occur easily and quickly.
Vitamin C plays an important role in the growth and repair of tissues in the body.
It is responsible for the creation of blood vessels, healing wounds, and can help reduce the risk of common colds. Since vitamin C is an important factor for blood vessel formation and healing wounds, it can help women who suffer from PMS symptoms and heavy bleeding during their periods.
A study done by the Palmer College of Chiropractic which was published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that increasing the levels of vitamin C in the diet caused the capillaries of the body to grow stronger and be far less fragile.
Looking at eighteen women who suffered from heavy menstrual bleeding, sixteen of those women had less menstrual bleeding after taking higher levels of vitamin C. This means that by increasing the levels of vitamin C in the diet, the blood vessels are stronger and menstrual bleeding is reduced. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
How Does Vitamin C Help With PMS Symptoms
Vitamin C can also help fight against inflammation that causes breast swelling during PMS as well. Since vitamin C plays a role in repairing and preventing damage to tissues, it can help protect the breast tissue from inflammation.
Another study conducted by the University of London and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 3258 people were provided high fruit and vegetable diets to increase the levels of vitamin C in the body. It was found that vitamin C does in fact hold many anti-inflammatory properties. ajcn.org
Since vitamin C is able to quell inflammation, by getting higher levels of vitamin C during PMS, the body is going to prevent the swelling of the breast tissues. This means that the heavy, aching breasts associated with PMS are no longer a symptom that is experienced by women during PMS.
A third study conducted by Arizona State University and published in the American College of Nutrition indicated that there are incredibly high rates of low vitamin C in women who are coming in for gynecological exams and pregnancy exams. In this study, 350 women were examined to determine their vitamin C levels.
Of these 350 women, 6% had vitamin C deficiencies and 31% has low levels of vitamin C. This study shows that women require vitamin C in their diets and are not getting it because hormone fluctuations are causing lower levels of vitamin C in the body. jacn.org
This study shows that women are not getting the right levels of vitamin C to protect themselves against vitamin C deficiencies. Since women’s bodies naturally create a deficiency in vitamins during PMS, the lack of vitamin C in a diet is compounded by a natural decrease in the vitamin C levels during PMS.
This is a huge health risk to women and will cause PMS symptoms to be much more severe if they are not receiving the appropriate levels of vitamin C in their diets.
Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be found in many natural food sources. These are mostly in fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits include cantaloupe, orange and grapefruit juice, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and watermelon.
Vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato juice, winter squash, and other leafy greens.
There are many foods on the market now like cereals and beverages that have been fortified with vitamin C. There are also some animal sources for vitamin C like liver, oysters, Cod fish, and fresh milk.
These foods, when incorporated into a balanced diet, can drastically reduce the effects of PMS for women if eaten daily to maintain appropriate vitamin C levels.
Preparation of these foods can cause major problems with vitamin C intake. When foods that are high in vitamin C have been cooked, the vitamin C levels can be dramatically reduced. This means that cooking vitamin C rich foods is not going to help increase the levels in the body.
The best sources for getting vitamin C are going to be in the fresh fruits and vegetables. By eating these fruits and vegetables raw, you are going to get the maximum vitamin efficiency from them.
Vitamin C Deficiency and PMS
Vitamin C deficiencies can cause serious problems for the human body. Scurvy is the largest problem with a vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy causes skin problems, gum problems, and excess bleeding. People also experience depression, tiredness, and eventually death.
Other serious complications with vitamin C deficiencies are anemia, inability to fight infections, inability for wounds to heal, dry hair, bruising, gum disease, frequent nosebleeds, weight gain due to slow metabolism, swelling, and weakness in teeth.
Vitamin C deficiencies occur because the body cannot store the vitamin for later use, so it needs to be a regular staple in a person’s diet. Some of these symptoms also occur when a woman experiences PMS. While the change in vitamin C levels is not this drastic, even slight changes in vitamin C levels can lead to mild cases of these symptoms.
While women who have PMS symptoms do not have full-blown scurvy, some of the symptoms are similar during PMS. When hormone levels fluctuate around the time of PMS, vitamin levels drop. Since vitamin C is responsible for tiredness, depression, inflammation and bleeding, these symptoms all become present during PMS.
Women might also notice weight gain and low iron levels during PMS, which can also be attributed to lower levels of vitamin C. To help fight these symptoms of PMS and keep women healthy, it is important that women get an adequate level of vitamin C in their diets every day. Since this is a water-soluble vitamin, it must be ingested daily so that the levels of vitamin C stay balanced in the body.
It is recommended that women get 75 milligrams of vitamin C per day. This can be ingested through natural sources, like fruits and vegetables, or it can be taken as a supplement. Either is appropriate as long as women are getting the appropriate levels of vitamin C every day.
Vitamin C overdosing can occur. It is not fatal, but can cause some unwanted side effects. When a person gets more than 2000 milligrams per day of vitamin C, they can start to have some adverse effects.
These include indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and insomnia. The chances of overdoes are incredibly small since vitamin C is water-soluble, but it is recommended that people not attempt to take too much vitamin C on a regular basis.
There is some information out there that suggests that megadoses of vitamin C are beneficial for fighting colds, blood vessel therapy, and oral health. These megadoses are on the market as well in supplement form.
This involves taking a dose of vitamin C that is ten to one hundred times the recommended daily dosage. There is not a lot of evidence to support this idea that large dose of vitamin C can help support your blood vessels. The body is only able to process so much of a particular vitamin at one time.
That is why it is more important to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C consistently and daily as opposed to taking large doses at once. Large doses over 2000 milligrams can also cause stomach upset so it is best to avoid taking megadoses of vitamin C.
A good supplement is going to provide a woman with the appropriate levels of vitamin C and not try to overdose. We naturally get a great deal of vitamin C in our diets so a supplement does not need to contain the full daily-recommended allowance of vitamin C. It should have enough to keep you balanced and prevent PMS symptoms like heavy bleeding and breast swelling, but not provide too much of the vitamin.
Period Vitamin contains 60 milligrams of vitamin C. This is eighty percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Since we get so much vitamin C through natural sources, this is a perfect level to add to a diet to get relief from PMS symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle.