Using vitamin C to help with your arthritis: 3 tips

The basic goal of good nutrition, an important aim for people with arthritis, is to get enough of everything. That can sound daunting, but it's easy if you eat a balanced diet that includes lots of different foods. Here's some information about using vitamin C to help with your arthritis and three tips.

Using vitamin C to help with your arthritis: 3 tips

The benefits of vitamin C

It's one of the most familiar of all nutrients, but vitamin C's role in joint health tends to be underappreciated.

Vitamin C not only helps produce collagen, a major component of joints, but sweeps the body of destructive molecular byproducts known as free radicals, which are destructive to joints. Without vitamin C and other so-called antioxidant nutrients, free-radical damage to joints would be much worse.

One of the best-known studies looking into vitamin C and arthritis, the Framingham osteo­arthritis study, found that people whose diets routinely included high amounts of vitamin C had significantly less risk of their arthritis progressing.

Here are some points to bear in mind:

Drink OJ from frozen concentrate

A prime source of vitamin C, orange juice is a favourite breakfast eye opener. While orange juice bought in the carton is healthy, OJ made from frozen concentrate is even better.

According to recent research that the American Dietetic Association published, juice reconstituted from frozen concentrate has more vitamin C than fresh-squeezed juice after four weeks of storage. If you prefer no-fuss pourable products, buy juice three to four weeks before the expiration date and drink it within a week of opening.

Spread out intake

Your body doesn't store vitamin C; rather, it takes what it needs from the bloodstream at any given time and flushes out the rest. So a megadose in the morning doesn't really do as much good as you would think.

Rather, sip citrus drinks or eat vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries or melon, broccoli or sweet peppers at meals to replenish your vitamin C stores throughout the day.

Beware of megadoses

Your body needs about 75 (for women) or 90 (for men) milligrams of vitamin C each day for basic bodily functions. For healing and antioxidant purposes, many people take much higher doses.

For most people, a few hundred milligrams of vitamin C won't have negative effects, but once you get past 500 milligrams or so, you should check with your doctor. Some people develop digestive unrest when they megadose on the vitamin. In addition, high doses of vitamin C can raise blood levels of salicylate.

When it comes to keeping up your vitamin C intake to help with your arthritis, keep these tips in mind.

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