Vitamin ‘C’ – (ascorbic acid)

 

 

 

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for the growth, repair, and development of all body tissues. It plays a key role in many bodily functions including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, functions of the immune system, and the maintenance of bone health.

Its antioxidant properties allow this Vitamin to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals*, toxic chemicals, and pollution.

Unlike most other mammals, the human body is not capable of making Vitamin C itself, and so must be ingested via food or supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, drink mixes, and crystalline powders.

Because Vitamin C is not stored in the body and excess amounts are secreted, there is no danger of overdose, making it one of the safest supplements to take. If too much Vitamin C intake happens to occur, symptoms such as stomach irritation, nausea, and diarrhoea may be present.

Vitamin C deficiency is rare, and can lead to scurvy in extreme cases, which is a condition characterized by dry skin, weakness, anaemia, bleeding, bruising, gum disease, and loose teeth.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C:

  • Protects against immune system deficiencies
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel dilation
  • Helps prevent strokes
  • Improves eye health and reduces risk of cataracts
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves circulation
  • Lowers the risk of gout
  • Reduces the risk of UTI’s
  • Treats lead poisoning found particularly in urban areas, by reducing the level of lead in the blood
  • Improves mood as it increases the production of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps with diabetes
  • Prevents neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Improves function of the lungs and airways by preventing bronchoconstriction (narrowing of airways) and reduces the production of histamines which trigger asthma
  • Treats tuberculosis by killing the bacteria that causes it
  • Treats arthritis symptoms by reducing pain, inflammation, and swelling of the joints
  • Reduces stress, and damage to the immune system caused by it
  • Prevents complications caused by colds and the flu (lung infections and pneumonia)
  • Helps prevent colds and reduces the severity of symptoms
  • Helps promote wound healing
  • Improves overall skin health
  • Protects against wrinkles and skin aging
  • Improves muscular degeneration
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Enhances the absorption of iron and therefore aids with anaemia
  • Improves hair health
  • Promotes nail health and growth
  • Prevents kidney stones and gallstones

 

SOURCES OF VITAMIN C:

Studies show that the average person does not consume enough Vitamin C from their diet, so supplements may be required. The recommended daily intake is: Women: 75mg, Men: 95mg, Children 9 – 13: 45mg, Children 4 – 8: 25mg, Children 1 – 3: 15mg, Infants 7 – 12 months: 50mg, Infants 0 – 6 months: 40mg, Pregnant women: 85mg, and Breastfeeding women: 120mg.

 

Acerola cherries Chillies Peas
Amalaki fruit Citrus fruits Pineapples
Artichoke Dark leafy greens Raspberries
Black currants Grapefruit Red peppers
Blueberries Green peppers Strawberries
Broccoli Guavas Sweet potato
Brussel sprouts Kale Tomatoes
Cabbage Kiwi fruit Watermelon
Cantaloupe Mango Winter squash
Cauliflower Papaya Yellow peppers

 

*Free radicals are molecules that are formed when chemical bonds split in such a way that the molecule is left with an odd, unpaired electron, making it unstable. The molecule then ‘attacks’ the nearest molecule ‘stealing’ its electron, and making the ‘attacked’ molecule a free radical in itself, causing a chain reaction resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Free radicals can be produced in normal bodily functions, but external factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, and herbicides can also spawn free radicals. The body is usually able to deal with these free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, the production of these molecules becomes out of control, causing cell damage, and often resulting in conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#4

https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/vitamin-C.php

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-high-in-vitamin-c/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/vitamin-c-heart-health.aspx

http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-vitamin-c-sh214/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vitamins/health-benefits-of-vitamin-c-or-ascorbic-acid.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-vitamin-c/

http://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/vitamin-c-benefits/

http://www.webmd.boots.com/vitamins-and-minerals/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c?page=3

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-vitamin-c-for-skin-hair-and-health/

http://bembu.com/vitamin-c-benefits