What Is The Difference Between Vitamin C and Calcium?
Vitamin C and calcium are two pivotal nutrients to your well-being. While they're sometimes thought to be the same, they're two distinct nutrients. So, how do the two nutrients differ? In this blog post, we'll explore the main differences between calcium and vitamin C, the importance of each, and various sources of each nutrient.
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, known chemically as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and K, which are stored in fat cells, vitamin C isn't stored in the body. Instead, it's excreted in the urine when it's in excess. As a result, you need to replenish it regularly through vitamin C-rich foods or supplements.
Why Is Vitamin C Essential?
Vitamin C contributes significantly to the body's immune defense mechanisms. It promotes the production of white blood cells that help the body fend off infections and diseases. Alongside vitamin E, it also helps to protect cells from harmful molecules called free radicals.
Beyond its protective role, vitamin C is also involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein that's found in connective tissue, skin, and bones. It's vital for skin elasticity, strong bones, and joint health.
Additionally, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, and it also plays an integral role in wound healing by stimulating the production of new tissue and promoting blood clotting.
Sources of Vitamin C
Many vegetables and fruits are rich sources of vitamin C. Some great sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, and limes are rich sources of vitamin C. One medium orange contains about 70 milligrams of vitamin C or 78% of the daily value.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are good sources of vitamin C. are excellent sources of vitamin C. One cup of strawberries contains roughly 98 milligrams of vitamin C or 108% of the daily recommended intake.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Spinach, kale, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C. One cup of cooked broccoli contains about 102 milligrams of vitamin C or 114% of the daily recommended intake.
Besides these foods, some other rich food sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, cantaloupe, and kiwis.
If you're concerned you aren't getting enough vitamin C from your food sources, vitamin C supplements can be an excellent addition to your diet. We offer a variety of liquid vitamin C supplements, which are easy to consume, unlike pill supplements. Some of our best sellers include:
- Liquid Health Prenatal/Postnatal Multivitamin: Rich in vitamin C and other essential vitamins, this supplement is ideal for expectant mothers looking to support healthy pregnancies.
- Liquid Health Vegan Men's Multivitamin: Packed with vitamin C and other vital nutrients, this supplement is perfect for men looking for a multivitamin that's dairy-free and non-GMO.
- Liquid Health Children's Complete Multiple: Tasty and easy to swallow, this vitamin C-rich multivitamin is perfect for children who don't enjoy the taste of bitter supplements or struggle to swallow pills.
What Is Calcium?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it's present in bones, teeth, blood, muscle, and other tissues. Roughly 99% of the body's calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. When calcium is running low in the body, it's retrieved from the bones and released to other organs that need it.
Why Is Calcium Essential?
Calcium is an essential nutrient for healthy bones. Bones are constantly broken down and rebuilt. Calcium is critical to the rebuilding process as it fortifies bones, keeping them strong and flexible.
Beyond promoting bone health, calcium plays important roles in muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and blood pressure regulation.
Sources of Calcium
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter are rich sources of calcium. However, if you're lactose-intolerant, they may not be ideal sources of calcium for you. Fortunately, calcium is widely available in a variety of other foods. Some other rich sources of calcium include:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Kale, broccoli, and spinach are particularly high in calcium. One cup of cooked kale provides about 94 milligrams of calcium, while half a cup of spinach contains about 123 milligrams.
- Fish: Oily fish such as sardines and canned salmon are rich in calcium due to their edible bones. One can of sardines contains about 325 milligrams of calcium, while an equivalent amount of salmon contains about 181 milligrams.
- Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are also good sources of calcium. Almonds are particularly high in calcium, with one ounce of almonds containing about 76 milligrams — 6% of the daily recommended intake.
- Fortified foods: Foods like breakfast cereals, bread, tofu, fruit juices, and plant-based milk are another good source of calcium. One cup of orange juice fortified with calcium provides roughly 349 milligrams of calcium, or 27% of the daily recommended intake.
Besides these foods, liquid calcium supplements are also an excellent source of calcium. If you want to incorporate supplements into your wellness regimen, our calcium and magnesium formula can provide you with the nutrients required to support healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin C Vs. Calcium: Key Differences
While both vitamin C and calcium play pivotal roles in maintaining our health, they aren't one and the same. Here's a comprehensive overview of the main differences between the two nutrients:
Vitamin C primarily functions as an antioxidant. It protects the body from harmful free radicals and bolsters immunity. Additionally, vitamin C supports collagen synthesis, which is vital for healthy skin and joints.
Calcium mainly promotes the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It is also integral to muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and blood pressure regulation.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It dissolves in water and isn't stored in the body. Calcium is a mineral that's mainly stored in bones and teeth. It's also found in blood, muscles, and other tissues.
Vitamin C is abundant in many fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, berries, and cruciferous vegetables.
Calcium is primarily found in dairy products. It is also present in cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and calcium-fortified foods.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency usually appear after about two or three months of insufficient intake. Vitamin C deficiency usually results in fatigue, slow wound healing, or bleeding gums.
Calcium deficiency, on the other hand, is uncommon, as the body can release calcium from the bones if it's deficient. However, calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis — a bone condition that weakens bones, making them more susceptible to fractures.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C varies depending on age, sex, lifestyle, and overall health. However, as a rule of thumb, men require 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily, while women require 75 milligrams.
Calcium and vitamin C may both be essential nutrients, but they aren't one and the same. Vitamin C is primarily an antioxidant that's crucial for collagen production, while calcium is essential for health bone development and maintenance. It's also vital for maintaining physiological balance in the body. So, it's crucial to get adequate amounts of both nutrients.
Fortunately, there are various ways to get enough of these nutrients, including eating a variety of fruits and vegetables or taking supplements. However, if you're concerned about whether you're getting adequate amounts of both vitamin C and calcium and want to start taking supplements, consult your doctor before you start taking supplements — particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.
Are Vitamin C and Calcium the Same?
No, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and calcium are two distinct nutrients. Vitamin C mainly functions as an antioxidant and supports collagen production, while calcium promotes bone health, muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, and blood pressure regulation.
Can You Take Vitamin C and Calcium Supplements Together?
Yes, it's safe to take vitamin C and calcium supplements together, as studies haven't found any harmful drug interactions between the two nutrients. In fact, vitamin C enhances calcium absorption, so the two nutrients complement each other. However, it's important to stay within the recommended daily allowances to avoid excessive intake.
What Diseases Does Lack of Vitamin C or Calcium Cause?
A lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by bleeding gums, weakness, and slow wound healing. Calcium deficiency can result in conditions like osteoporosis, osteopenia, and hypocalcemia. These conditions can compromise bone strength, making them more prone to fractures.
Is It Safe to Take Vitamin C or Calcium Supplements Daily?
Yes, it's generally safe for adults to take vitamin C supplements daily in doses up to 2,000 milligrams, while it's safe to take calcium supplements in doses up to 1,000 milligrams. However, excessive intake of vitamin C or calcium supplements can lead to various side effects. So, if you want to start taking supplements, consult your physician to determine the appropriate dosage based on your needs.