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Vitamin C

Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. It is a water soluble vitamin which is essential for growth and development. Being water soluble, it leaves the body in the form of urine, which is why you need a continuous supply of this vitamin in your diet. Vitamin C refers to a number of vitamers that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts, and some oxidized forms of the molecule like dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbate and ascorbic acid are both naturally present in the body when either of these is introduced into cells, since the forms interconvert according to pH.

Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is very important for our body since it helps mainly in the growth and development of our body. It is beneficial for:

  1. Protecting cells from free radical damage
  2. Lowering the risk of cancer in our body
  3. Regenerating your vitamin E supplies
  4. Improving iron absorption
  5. Healing wounds
  6. Forming scar tissues
  7. Treating frequent colds and infections
  8. Curing lung related problems
  9. Forming an important protein which assists in making skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
  10. Reducing agent to reverse oxidation in liquids
  11. Working as an antioxidant which keeps our eyes healthy by counteracting the free radicals
  12. Strengthening our immune system
  13. Preventing scurvy
  14. Treating asthma patients
  15. Helping blood vessels dilate in a safe manner. This reduces hyper tension, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Dietary sources of Vitamin C

All fruit and vegetables contain some amount of Vitamin C. They include the following:

  1. Cantaloupe
  2. Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
  3. Kiwi fruit
  4. Mango
  5. Papaya
  6. Pineapple
  7. Strawberries
  8. Raspberries
  9. Blueberries
  10. Cranberries
  11. Watermelon
  12. Broccoli
  13. Brussels sprout
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Green and red peppers
  16. Spinach
  17. Cabbage
  18. Turnip greens
  19. Sweet and white potatoes
  20. Tomatoes and tomato juice
  21. Oranges
  22. Kale

Supplements:

Vitamin C supplements are found widely at every drug store in the form of caplets, tablets, capsules, drink mix packets and in multi-vitamin formulations. People who suffer from vitamin c deficiency and have a low diet should take these supplements to fulfill the required amount.

Health Concerns

Deficiency of Vitamin C:

A deficiency of vitamin C can cause:

  1. Anemia
  2. Bleeding gums
  3. Decreased ability to fight infection
  4. Decreased wound-healing rate
  5. Dry and splitting hair
  6. Easy bruising
  7. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  8. Nosebleeds
  9. Weight gain
  10. Slow metabolism
  11. Rough, dry, scaly skin
  12. Swollen and painful joints
  13. Weakened tooth enamel

Severe form of deficiency can lead to scurvy.

Excess of Vitamin C:

There are not any known toxic symptoms caused by an excess of vitamin C. However, it is reported to have caused mild digestion problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flushing of the face, headache, fatigue and disturbed sleep.

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