Vitamin C plays a vital role in the functioning of the body, although it is only considered a micronutrient. Vitamin C is essential for immune function, iron absorption, bone formation, wound healing, healthy skin, blood pressure and vision. Because vitamin C is vital for many of the bodies to function, it is important to maintain proper levels within the body. Vitamin C acts as a catalyst within the body, accelerating chemical reactions with less energy. Without these catalysts due to a deficiency, the body’s normal functions break down, exposing the body to disease.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid. Humans are one of the few animals that can no longer produce vitamin C inside the body and cannot be stored in the body. The body excretes excessive amounts of vitamin C, so it is necessary to replenish the body with vitamin C regularly. It is often considered an antioxidant, however, it is actually a redox agent. This means that, in some circumstances, it acts as an antioxidant, while in other cases it acts as an oxidant. When it acts as an antioxidant, vitamin C inhibits cell damage from free radicals.
Although vitamin C has many uses within the body, its main function is the formation of collagen. Collagen is one of the most abundant fibers contained in connective tissue, which shapes us and is compatible with the organs. Collagen can be found in cartilage, skin, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, fascia, organs and the separation of different types of cells. That is why vitamin C is such an important and vital supplement for the body to stay physically attached.
Although the role of vitamin C in collagen synthesis is important, it also plays a role in other areas of the body. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which benefits in the treatment of cases of iron deficiency anemia. Protects fat soluble vitamins A and E and fatty acids from oxidation. It also helps in calcium absorption. Taken at the beginning of a cold, it has been shown that vitamin C reduces the severity of symptoms, increasing the body’s immune response. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. It reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and prevents the appearance of cataracts by protecting the lens of the eye. It helps in healing wounds, repairs injuries and burns, prevents wrinkles and stimulates bone formation.
Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, melon, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, mango, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels . Sprouts and kale. Vitamin C can be lost during food preparation, exposure to air, cooking, boiling and immersion in water. It is better to consume vitamin C in its raw form, however, if cooking, boiling or steam limit the amount of water and the time the food is submerged. Once fruits or vegetables are cut, store them in sealed containers inside the refrigerator to minimize nutrient damage. In most cases, enough nutrients remain after processing for a daily supply. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 60-90 mg daily.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, which is rarely seen today, except in alcoholics. Scurvy symptoms include bleeding, loose teeth, swollen gums, easy bruising, poor healing, anemia, joint pain, muscle wasting. Low levels of vitamin C lead to gallbladder disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke and cancer. Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include fatigue, depression, irritability, weight loss and weakness. Although vitamin C is soluble in water, this does not mean that it should be taken in excess. Higher doses of vitamin C can be taken if you smoke or during times of fever or infection. However, excessive prolonged doses can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, increased risk of kidney stones, jaundice, back pain, fever, vomiting, headaches and itching.
Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy diet, which keeps the body functioning and strong. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables should provide your body with adequate amounts of vitamin C. However, there are forms of supplements available if your diet does not provide adequate amounts of nutrients.