The Importance Of Taking Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant.

There is some evidence that regular use of supplements may reduce the duration of the common cold, but it does not appear to prevent infection. It is unclear whether supplementation affects the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or dementia. It may be taken by mouth or by injection. Vitamin C  is found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin C is generally well tolerated. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. Vitamin C is available as an inexpensive  generic and over the counter medication.

List Of Foods Containing vitamin C

  1. Citrus fruits {orange}
  2. Kiwi fruit
  3. Guava
  4. Broccoli sprouts
  5. Bell peppers
  6. Strawberries
  7. Lemon
  8. Tangerines
  9. Apple

Prolonged storage or cooking may reduce vitamin C content in foods.

SIDE EFFECTS

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, with dietary excesses not absorbed, and excesses in the blood rapidly excreted in the urine, so it exhibits remarkably low acute toxicity. More than two to three grams may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach. However, taking vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate may minimize this effect. Large doses may cause

  1. Gastrointestinal discomfort
  2. Headache
  3. Trouble sleeping
  4. Flushing of the skin
  5. Nausea
  6. Abdominal cramps
  7. Diarrhea

SOURCES OF VITAMIN C

Plant sources

While plant foods are generally a good source of vitamin C, the amount in foods of plant origin depends on the variety of the plant, soil condition, climate where it grew, length of time since it was picked, storage conditions, and method of preparation.The following table is approximate and shows the relative abundance in different raw plant sources. As some plants were analyzed fresh while others were dried (thus, artificially increasing concentration of individual constituents like vitamin C), the data are subject to potential variation and difficulties for comparison. The amount is given in milligrams per 100 grams of the edible portion of the fruit or vegetable:

Plant sourceAmount
(mg / 100g)
Kakadu plum1000–5300
Camu camu2800
Acerola1677
Seabuckthorn695
Indian gooseberry445
Rose hip426
Guava228
Blackcurrant200
Yellow bell pepper183
Red bell pepper/capsicum128
Kale120
Plant sourceAmount
(mg / 100g)
Kiwi fruit, broccoli90
Green bell pepper/capsicum 80
Loganberry, redcurrant, Brussels sprouts80
Cloudberry, elderberry60
Papaya, strawberry60
Orange, Lemon53
Pineapple, cauliflower48
Cantaloupe40
Grape fruit, raspberry30
Passion fruit, spinach30
Cabbage, lime30
Plant sourceAmount
(mg / 100g)
Mango28
Blackberry21
Potato, heneydew melon20
Tomato14
Cranberry13
Blueberry, grape10
Apricot, plum, watermelon10
Avocado8.8
Onion7.4
Cherry, peach7
Carrot, apple, asparagus6

Animal Sources

Animal-sourced foods do not provide much vitamin C, and what there is, is largely destroyed by the heat of cooking. For example,

  1. Raw chicken liver contains 17.9 mg/100 g, but in fried, the content is reduced to 2.7 mg/100 g.
  2. Chicken eggs contain no vitamin C, raw or cooked.
  3. Vitamin C is present in human breast milk at 5.0 mg/100 g and 6.1 mg/100 g in one tested sample of infant formula, but cow’s milk contains only 1.0 mg/ 100 g.

Supplements

Vitamin C dietary supplements are available as tablets, capsules, drink mix packets, in multi-vitamin/mineral formulations, in antioxidant formulations, and as crystalline powder. Vitamin C is also added to some fruit juices and juice drinks. Tablet and capsule content ranges from 25 mg to 1500 mg per serving. The most commonly used supplement compounds are ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate.

 Deficiency In Vitamin C

Scurvy is a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency and can be prevented and treated with vitamin C-containing foods or dietary supplements.

It takes at least a month of little to no vitamin C before symptoms occur.

Early symptoms are

  1. malaise and lethargy
  2. progressing to shortness of breath
  3. bone pain
  4. bleeding gums
  5. susceptibility to bruising
  6. poor wound healing
  7. fever

Treatment

 healthy collagen replaces the defective collagen with vitamin C repletion. Treatment can be orally or by intramuscular or intravenous injection. The disease was shown to be prevented by citrus fruit in an early controlled trial by a Royal Navy surgeon, James Lind, in 1747.

Vitamin C Helps

  • Skin Aging- vitamin C intake was associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance.
  • Formation of collagen
  • Absorption of iron
  • Improves the immune system
  • help wound heal fast
  • The maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth

Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess amounts are excreted), so overdose is not a concern. But it’s still important not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea.

Lilian Mike

Author & Founder Healthfitness102

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