Vitamin C With Rose Hips: How Much Ascorbic Acid Does Your Immune System Need?

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    Vitamin C and rose hips are both purported to be big boosters of your immune system. Are they more effective as a team? Find all the benefits here.

    Vitamin C with rose hips is a supplement that’s been getting some interest of late. What is it and how can it help you?

    What is vitamin C?

    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is not stored in the body. Instead, any vitamin C that is not used is excreted through the body’s urine. It must, therefore, be consumed on a daily basis either as food or a supplement. Ideally, food is the best source of vitamin C, as getting it through food can help maximize absorption.

    Citrus fruit is probably the most well-known source of vitamin C. Even before the vitamin was discovered, scientists knew that something in citrus fruit could prevent scurvy, a condition that wreaked havoc on undernourished sailors as recently as the 1800s. Known to be caused by a prolonged lack of vitamin C, scurvy is now extremely rare and treatable.

    Vitamin C is used to support sinus and lung issues and is often the supplement most people grab to support their immune system. The vitamin does play an important role, however, in healing wounds, and its antioxidant properties help promote cellular health by managing oxidative stress.

    Vitamin C is necessary for the body to make collagen, a fibrous protein found in connective tissue throughout the nervous and immune systems, bone, cartilage, and blood. It also acts as a cofactor to synthesize L-Carnitine and the neurotransmitters known as catecholamines (dopamine and adrenaline).

    Aside from citrus fruit, vitamin C is also plentiful in strawberries, leafy greens, avocados, Bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and white potatoes. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women is 75 mg and 90 mg for men. The maximum limit on daily supplementation is 2,000 mg. Supplemental vitamin C comes in powder form and capsules such as Care/of’s premium brand: Vitamin C The Citrus Savior.

    What are rose hips?

    Did you know that roses are related to apples and crabapples? If you look just under the petals on a rose plant you’ll find rose hips, which are tiny, reddish, seed-filled pods that are far more than mere supporting players to the preferred flower of every loved one on Valentine’s Day. The fruit of the rose plant is widely considered to be an excellent source of polyphenols and vitamin C. They are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, and have the potential to be developed as functional foods. The sweet, tasty rose hip, which has a bit of acidity similar to that of its cousin the crabapple, can be eaten fresh, but is usually prepared as an herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, or wine.

    Rose hips can be used to promote skin health by promoting moisture and elasticity. This study concludes that rose hip powder improves aging-induced skin conditions. The stabilizing effect of the rose hip on cell membranes may contribute to improve cell longevity and to obstruct skin aging.

    As if that isn’t enough, floral designers are now using rose hips in their arrangements. They’re uniquely shaped and colorful, they add texture, and though not as beautiful as the rose, they’re quite lovely in their own way. You probably don’t want to pick them off of a floral arrangement and eat them – they’ve likely been sprayed with pesticides and subjected to other beauty enhancements by the florist.

    What is vitamin C with rose hips?

    Vitamin C with rose hips is an amalgam of the powerful, essential vitamin C and rose hips, the tiny fruit found beneath the petal on the rose plant. While rose hips contain high amounts of vitamin C, depending on how the rosehips are processed a significant amount can be lost in the drying and processing, so you would have to consume an inordinate amount of them in order to get sufficient vitamin C. They are also small and would require extensive preparation, (seeding, skinning, and removing hairs that would irritate your mouth for starters), in order to be enjoyed. While rose hips won’t really add any significant amount to your daily intake of vitamin C, they contain many other phytochemicals and bioactive compounds that may help to increase your intake of other nutrients. Rose hips contain phenols, flavonoids, ellagic acid, lycopene, and vitamin E. It also supports immune health with its antimicrobial and antibacterial activity. Check with your physician or healthcare provider before you add vitamin C with rose hips to your protocol. You may find a high quality C is all you really need.

    Benefits of vitamin c with rose hips

    Antioxidant properties

    There is evidence that rose hips can help with aging skin when used topically as an oil, but if the promise of healthy and glowing skin isn’t high on your list, there are other benefits to vitamin C with rose hips. Flavonoids help with vitamin C absorption and combating oxidative stress. They are not produced in the body, so they must be obtained through diet and supplementation. Rose hips are rich in flavonoids.

    Another benefit not to be overlooked is the increased antioxidant support that the vitamin C with rose hips combination provides. That said, the amount of additional C from the rose hips may be negligible depending on the extraction process, storage, and sourcing.

    The mineral organic iron can be found naturally in plants and herbal teas. Vitamin C helps the body absorb this mineral when taken with a meal. Depending on the sourcing and processing, rose hips may contain small amounts of organic iron, so taking the two together can ensure both ingestion and absorption.

    Boosts immune health

    Vitamin Cis essential for proper immune function. Since it is not made in the body, supplementation may be required if the diet does not include fruits and veggies. Rose hips also support immune health with its antioxidant-like properties.

    Vitamin C with rose hips supplementation

    There isn’t much research supporting their effectiveness together, but there certainly are plenty of options available at most retail outlets. If you choose to supplement with vitamin C and rose hips, consult your physician or healthcare provider.

    Potential side effects and interactions

    The most common side effects are digestive in nature and can present as nausea, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea.

    Is vitamin C with rose hips safe during pregnancy?

    Rose hips may be safe as a food if there are no known allergies to the rose or rose family. As a supplement, however, always check with your healthcare provider when pregnant or breastfeeding before adding rose hips (or any supplement) to your regimen.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.