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.
Smokers:-individuals who smoke require 35 mg per day more Vitamin C than nonsmokers.
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.
Vitamin C rich foods and beverages are
- Orange juice
- Red cabbage
- Green pepper
- Citrus fruits
- Red pepper
- Tomato juice
- Grape fruit juice
- Water melon
- 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.
- Decreased ability to fight infections
- Decreased wound healing rate
- Dry and splitting hair
- Easy bruising
- 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
- Heart burn
- Abdominal bloating and cramps
- kidney stones