Category Archive Health Care

Role of Vitamin C & How to Overcome Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development.it is also called as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C gives protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye diseases and even skin wrinkling. your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C so it’s important to include vitamin C in your diet. any extra vitamin C will simply be flushed out of body in urine.

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Smokers:-individuals who smoke require 35 mg per day more Vitamin C than nonsmokers.

Source:-

Fruits and vegetables are best sources of Vitamin C. A cup of orange juice or a half cup of red pepper would be enough to meet your RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for Vitamin C.

Vit-CVitamin C rich foods and beverages are

  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange juice
  • Broccoli
  • Red cabbage
  • Green pepper
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Red pepper
  • Kiwi
  • Tomato juice
  • Grape fruit juice
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • guavas
  • Papaya
  • Water melon
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Green peas

Role of Vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen and certain neuro transmitters also involved in protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue which plays a vital role in wound healing.
  • Vitamin C is beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress and is the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, obese individuals, it makes it an ideal marker for oral health.
  • When it comes to the common cold Vitamin C may not be a cure but some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications. Taking Vitamin C for cold and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications such as pneumonia and lung infections
  • Vitamin C improves the absorption of non heme iron, the form of iron present in plant based foods.
  • Heal wounds and forms scar tissue
  • Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and it decreases the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Repair and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth
  • Plays a role in the skin aging and wrinkling process
  • Vitamin C limits the damage induced by ultraviolet light exposure. Vitamin C is not a sunscreen because it does not absorb the light. Rather the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C protects against uv-induced damage caused by free radicals.
  • Scurvy:-often presents itself initially as symptoms of malaise and lethargy followed by formation of spots on the skin, spongy gums, bleeding from the mucous membranes. Spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs, person feels depressed and is partially immobilized. As scurvy advances, there can be open, suppurative wounds, loss of teeth, jaundice, fever, neuropathy and death.
  • Anemia
  • Decreased ability to fight infections
  • Decreased wound healing rate
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Gingivitis
  • Nose bleeds
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weakened tooth enamel
  • Possible weight gain because of slower metabolism.

Vitamin C deficiency:-

Risk of Vitamin C deficiency seen in

Smokers and passive smokers-decreased Vitamin C level in plasma is noticed.so these individuals require more Vitamin C than non-smokers

Infants fed evaporated or boiled milk-boiled or evaporated cow milk is not recommended. Cow milk contains low Vitamin C and heat can destroy Vitamin C.

Individuals taking limited food varieties

People with malabsorption and certain chronic diseases.

How to overcome Vitamin C deficiency:

It is not very difficult to overcome Vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, germinated grains.

Take fresh fruits and vegetables

Vitamin C supplements

Effect of over doses of Vitamin C supplements:

Over doses of Vitamin C supplements may cause

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heart burn
  • Abdominal bloating and cramps
  • Headache
  • insomnia
  • kidney stones

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Know About Vitamin A Benefits & Overcome Deficiencies

Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining healthy eyes. Vitamin A keeps our Vision Keen. Not only Eyes, Vitamin A helps in bone growth, maintaining immunity and also useful as Powerful Antiixidant, Vitamin A maintains a vigorous reproductive system of the body.

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. Actually, it is the name of a group of fat soluble retinoid, including Retinol, Retinoic acid, Retinyl Esters. Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet.

  1. Preformed Vitamin A (retinal and its esterified form, Retinyl ester)
  2. Provitamin A carotenoids

The most important provitamin A carotenoid is beta carotene. Other carotenoids are Alfa carotene and beta cryptoxanthin. The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A. the active forms of vitamin A are retinol and retinoic acid.

 Vitamin A Benefits :

  • Vitamin A plays critical role in the formation of rhodopsin, the eye pigment responsible for sensing low light situations.
  • Helps in forming and maintaining healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucous membrane.
  • Involved in immune function, reproduction, cellular communication.
  • Vitamin A also supports cell growth and differentiation, playing a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs

Vitamin-AVitamin A sources:-

Vitamin A comes from animal sources such as

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fortified milk
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Chicken Liver, Kidney, Cod
  • Halibut fish oil

Beta carotene sources are

  • Bright yellow and orange fruits such as pink grapefruit, apricots, cantaloupe,mangoes
  • Vegetables- carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin
  • Other sources are broccoli, spinach, dark green leafy vegetables.

The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta carotene content. Vegetable sources are fat and cholesterol free.

Vitamin A deficiency:-

Vitamin A deficiency is common in many developing countries. Vitamin A deficiency typically begins during infancy, when infants do not receive adequate supplies of colostrum or breast milk. Chronic diarrhea also leads to excessive loss of vitamin A in young children, and vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of diarrhea.

  1. The most common symptom of vitamin A deficiency in young children and pregnant women is Xerophthalmia.it is a medical condition in which the eye fails to produce tears. The conjunctiva becomes dry, thick and wrinkled. If untreated, it can lead to corneal ulceration and ultimately to blindness as a result of corneal damage
  2. Night blindness-one of the early sign of xerophthalmia.it is the difficulty for the eyes to adjust to dim light. Cannot see the images in low levels of illumination. Poor vision in the darkness but see normally when adequate light is present.
  3. Keratomalacia-vitamin A is required to maintain specialized epithelia such as in the cornea and conjunctiva. Lack of vitamin A leads to atrophic changes to normal mucosal surface, with loss of goblet cells, and replacement of normal epithelium by an inappropriate keratinized epithelium. Due to this cornea break down and liquefies resulting keratomalacia.The resulting cornea become totally opaque. This is one of the most common reason for blindness around the world
  4. Preterm infants with vitamin A deficiency have an increased risk of eye, chronic lung and gastrointestinal diseases.
  5. Bitot’s spots-collections of keratin in the conjunctiva
  6. Diminishes the ability to fight infections
  7. Decreased growth rate and slow bone development
  8. Most people with cystic fibrosis have pancreatic insufficiency, increasing their risk of vitamin A deficiency due to difficulty in absorbing fat. Vitamin A supplements can correct low serum beta carotene levels
  9. Vitamin A deficiency in the pregnant and lactating women leads to xerophthalmia and other effects are increased maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, increased anemia risk and slower infant growth and development.
  10. Vitamin A deficiencies tend to have low iron status, which can lead to anemia. It increases the severity and mortality risk of infections even before the onset of xerophthalmia

Treatment and prevention;

Taking vitamin A by mouth is effective for preventing and treating symptoms of vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency can occur in people with protein deficiency, Diabetes, over active thyroid, liver disease, cystic fibrosis.

Vitamin A supplements may interact with some birth control pills, blood thinners, acne medicines, cancer treatment and many other drugs.

Vitamin A over dose:

Over dose of vitamin A is called as hypervitaminosis A. it refers to any number of a large amount of toxic effects from ingesting too much preformed vitamin A.This condition may be acute or chronic. Acute toxicity occurs after consumi9ng large amounts of vitamin A over a short period of time, typically within a few hours or days. Chronic toxicity occurs when large amounts of vitamin A build up in the body over a long period of time.

High intake of provitamin carotenoids such as beta-carotene, do not cause hypervitaminosis A as conversion to the active form of vitamin A is highly regulated.

Causes:

  • Most people develop vitamin A toxicity by taking high dose dietary supplements or by taking more than the recommended amount over a long period of time
  • It may also be caused by long term use of certain acne treatments that contain high doses of vitamin A.

Symptoms:

Long term use of large amounts of vitamin A might cause serious side effects including fatigue, irritability, mental changes, anorexia, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, mild fever, excessive sweating, skin and hair changes, head ache.

In women who have passed menopause, taking too much vitamin A can increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.

Over consumption of beta-carotene can cause carotenosis, in which the skin turns orange color.it is a reversible condition. The skin turns into normal color after you stop taking excessive consumption of beta carotene.

Other symptoms are abnormal softening of skull bone, blurred vision, bone pain and swelling, heart valve calcification, liver damage, poor weight gain in infants and children, higher sensitivity to sun light

Prevention:

  • Don’t take more than recommended amount
  • Carotene forms from dietary sources are not toxic.
  • Pregnancy, liver disease, high alcohol consumption and smoking are indications for close monitoring and limitation of vitamin A administration.

Treatment:

  • Stop taking high consumption of vitamin A
  • Vitamin E may alleviate hypervitaminosis A

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