Vitamin C and Alcohol

By James Madeiros


Vitamin C You Later, Hangover

Most of us have heard the scurvy story: before Vitamin C was discovered, sailors braving long voyages without access to fresh fruits or vegetables would develop a deficiency in the nutrient causing a nasty, painful death. A true pirate’s death, you could say.

Now Vitamin C is perhaps the most ubiquitous of all vitamins and its popularity isn’t just hype. The nutrient plays a crucial role in preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, and eye and gum deterioration.

So, how does alcohol affect this vital nutrient? Well, as discussed in an earlier Healthy Drinker article, booze does a pretty good job of zapping the body’s store of needed minerals and Vitamin C is no exception. Even so, while alcohol depletes Vitamin C in body tissues, it can quickly be restored with over-the-counter vitamins: about 500 milligrams a day can achieve positive health results.

Having a healthy dose of Vitamin C in your system before and after drinking may prevent or reduce the severity of hangovers by speeding up the metabolism of alcohol by the liver. Alcoholics may also benefit from keeping up their Vitamin C intake as it can reduce alcohol cravings.

Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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