It’s a well-known fact that the acerola cherry has a very high vitamin C content. But is there really a difference between acerola vitamin C and the vitamin C that we get from other sources?
The answer: yes.
The acerola cherry is one of the fruits that contains over 150 phytonutrients. Also, it has the highest vitamin C content. And unlike other foods with vitamin C, this superfood is different because it has the complete vitamin C complex.
This means it has bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, rutin, ascorbinogen, and other factors.
As much as 4 percent of the cherry’s weight is ascorbic acid. This roughly translates to around more than 1,600 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of raw acerola. This concentration obviously exceeds other fruits, like oranges, kiwi, lemon, strawberry, and papaya.
According to Rami Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, “Dentist Royal Lee believed that vitamin C is the most important of the vitamins, and is the most difficult to get. It is oxidized so easily that it disappears in storage of citrus fruits and vegetables.
“Humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from their diet. Vitamin C is thus considered an essential dietary component, it protects against damage caused by free radicals, and is essential for the body to have to make collagen—the flexible protein found in cartilage, tendons, bone, and skin.”
Well then, good thing acerola vitamin C content ensures you’re getting the most vitamin C that you need in order for your body to function well.
Consuming the immature acerola cherry ensures you’re getting the highest concentration of vitamin C. This fruit shows a green color. As it matures to its known reddish color, the vitamin C content decreases. However, the positive effect is the total antioxidant capacity increases almost double.
Acerola Vitamin C Benefits
Vitamin C is known to provide plenty of benefits to the human body. Below are some of them:
- Prevents hair loss and hair damage
- Boosts immune system
- Helps in the formation of collagen
- Prevents easy bruising and bleeding
- Prevents frequent coughs, colds, and infections
- Eases unexplained pains and joint swellings
- Improves teeth and gums
- Protects skin against premature ageing
- Protects organs against harmful free radicals
- Helps in the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues
- Maintains cartilages, bones, and teeth
- Boosts cardiovascular health
- Lowers the risk of cancer, especially of the cervix, breast, and skin
- Decreases toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs
- Increases anti-tumor activity during chemo
- Lowers blood glucose levels
- Regulates cholesterol levels
- Stops the formation of blood clots
- Protects against hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Fights against sore throat
- Prevents cataracts and retinal hemorrhages
- Soothes arthritis
- May treat depression and anxiety
- Reduces risk of obesity
- Promotes natural and healthy weight loss
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it’s best you load up your daily intake of vitamin C.
- Muscle weakness
- Leg rashes
- Joint and muscle aches
- Bleeding gums
- Weakened tooth enamel
- Dry and splitting hair
- Rough, dry, or scaly skin
Prolonged deficiency of this vitamin will lead to scurvy. This is a rare but very dangerous and severe illness.
Keep in mind that the acerola cherry can give you most of the vitamin C needed for your optimum health.
Vitamin C Doses
So how do you make sure you’re taking in the right amount of vitamin C without overdoing it?
Based on the National Institute of Health, these are recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for adults over the age of 19:
- Men – 90 mg / day
- Women – 75 mg / day
- Pregnant women – 85 mg / day
- Breastfeeding women – 120 mg / day
- Smokers – 250 mg / day
For young kids, children, and teens, here are the recommended doses:
- Infants (0-6 mos.) – 40 mg / day
- Infants (7-12 mos.) – 50 mg / day
- Toddlers (1-3 y.o.) – 15 mg / day
- Children (4-8 y.o.) – 25 mg / day
- Children (9-13 y.o.) – 45 mg / day
- Male teens (14-18 y.o.) – 75 mg / day
- Female teens (14-18 y.o.) – 65 mg / day
Too Much Vitamin C
As with everything in life, too much of something will bring about some negative effects. When it comes to consuming too much vitamin C (greater than 2,000 mg a day), it can cause kidney stones.
If you experience side or lower back pain, it’s best to have your doctor check it out ASAP. This could be a symptom of kidney stones.
Other side effects of ingesting too much acerola vitamin C include the following:
- Flushed appearance
- Digestive cramps
- Dizziness or fainting
- Frequent urination
Remember, for most healthy individuals, the human body can hold around 200-250 mg of vitamin C per day.
Studies on Acerola Cherry
There are quite a few studies on the acerola vitamin C content and the acerola fruit itself that has impressive findings.
For example, in 2011, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition shows that the acerola cherry protects against oxidative stress. This causes premature ageing and certain diseases.
Next, the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology published a study that proves the acerola cherry can stop the growth and spread of lung cancer.