VITAMIN C IN IBD
Vitamin C is best known for its antioxidant functions, but also plays an essential role in collagen formation (for skin, bone, and cartilage health), and nonheme iron absorption. While vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is not typically a nutrient of concern for most people, those with IBD who are taking steroids may be at risk for low vitamin C levels.
In IBD, the inflammation of the intestines can inhibit some of the vitamin C from being absorbed; however, due to the high amounts of vitamin C found in a variety of foods, it is possible to eat enough vitamin C in the diet. When experiencing IBD inflammation and using steroid medications, maintaining proper levels of vitamin C can be a bit trickier. Steroids can impair vitamin C metabolism which means that the vitamin can pass through your system without getting absorbed.
While we still recommend that you emphasize food sources of vitamin C in your diet, taking a complete multivitamin is a great addition to your IBD care routine. Complete multivitamins will help you get the extra vitamins (like vitamin C) and minerals that can be low in the disease. A daily multivitamin, plus a nutrient rich diet will keep your body healthy as you overcome your disease.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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