What is vitamin c


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What is vitamin c

  1. 1. What is Vitamin C?Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a very essential 'vital-amine' nutrient. It plays a major role in the production of collagen, a long, fibrous structural protein, that strengthens blood vessels and primarily helps in tissue development.Results of Vitamin C DeficiencyThe most ill-famous disease caused due to the deficiency of vitamin c is scurvy. It was very common in sailors and was first observed and recorded by Hippocrates in the 13th century. Scurvy is common in people who do not have sufficient intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. This disease causes several ailments like spots on the skin, specially on the legs, spongy and bleeding gums and bleeding of mucous membranes (mostly present in organs that perform absorption or secretion). Acute scurvy leads to loss of teeth. It may also lead to infection of wounds. A person may bleed to death due to over deficiency of vitamin C; as vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen that heals the wounds. Other effects of lack of vitamin C in the body are, dry splitting hair, frequent nose bleeds, anemia, obesity due to decreased metabolism, arthritis, weakened tooth enamel and impaired bone growth. In short, lack of vitamin C can lead to weakening of the immune system which may further lead to easy sustainment of infections.Food Sources of Vitamin CLinus Pauling, also known as the 'Father of Vitamin C', suggests that optimum vitamin C intake for most should be between 60 milligrams to 3 grams daily. The most common source of vitamin C is fresh fruits and vegetables. Out of all, the fruits and vegetables that are highly rich in vitamin C are broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes, papaya, mangoes, strawberries, peppers (red, yellow and orange), potatoes, kiwi, spinach, red berries, juices made from lemon, guava, grapefruit, and orange. Benefits of Vitamin CProper intake of vitamin C reduces the chances of the above mentioned diseases to a great extent. Besides that, there are numerous other benefits of vitamin C consumption.<br />Since vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, it prevents cataract and minimizes the chances of heart attacks and stroke by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in blood.<br />Its anti-oxidation function, benefits asthma patients to a large extent.<br />Vitamin C is said to be very beneficial for high blood pressure patients.<br />It can regulate the blood sugar level, therefore extra vitamin C should be given to diabetic patients.<br />Vitamin C benefits women during infertility treatment and increases the sperm count in men, specially smokers.<br />It is also used in treating Parkinson's disease.<br />It minimizes the chances of cancer and is also used in cancer treatment.<br />It prevents skin from wrinkling and heals wounds faster. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy skin.<br />High dose of vitamin C proves effective in common cold treatment and a few allergy treatments.<br />Proper vitamin C intake is highly recommended during pregnancy for the mother's bones and also to prevent any deformities in the child.<br />Results of Overdose of Vitamin CExcess intake of vitamin C results in indigestion, diarrhea, increased stress levels, trauma, fever, jaundice infection, severe back pain, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, kidney stone, dental cavities, facial flushing, etc. Hence, it is advisable to consume a balanced intake of vitamin C.Availability of vitamin C in natural food is in abundance and should be consumed in adequate quantities. Once the importance of vitamin C is understood, it is not difficult to reap the benefits of vitamin C, by making a few minor changes in our diet. A diet including enough quantities of all nutrients is said to be a healthy diet.<br />