Vitamin C

Alternative  Names: Ascorbic acid

Definition:-Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development.

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.

Function:-
Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Vitamin E and beta-carotene are two other well-known antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy.

The build up of these by-products over time is largely responsible for the aging process and can contribute to the development of various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and a host of inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Antioxidants also help reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.

Even many of those who generally do not take nutritional supplements on a regular basis will still take the odd Vitamin C tablet when feeling a cold coming on, compliments of Linus Pauling‘s best-seller “Vitamin C and  the Common Cold,” which rocketed the immune-enhancing effects of ascorbic acid to fame, and thanks to the many articles and books which since followed.  While the recommended daily or dietary allowance (RDA) stands now at 75 – 90 mg per day for adults (see bottom of page), a higher dietary reference intake (DRI) is  again in review.  However, many of those who regularly supplement Vitamin C, take in the vicinity of 250 mg to 1,000+mg per day, and there are those who take up to, and beyond 10,000 mg daily.

Headlines about oxidative damage (DNA mutations) attributed to taking Vitamin C in excess of 500 mg per day had many people step back and reconsider their supplemental routines.  In addition, similar studies had come to light just prior to the Vitamin C revelation about the potential problems of regularly supplementing
Beta Carotene.  This however, as it turned out later, only applied to smokers who had used higher doses of synthetic, but not natural sources of beta carotene, which made the use of natural-source, mixed carotenoids  the preferred choice and more popular.

Once the headlines on the possible DNA-damaging potential from taking higher doses of Vitamin C faded, most people continued where they left off and resumed their previous regimen again, especially following  publications to the contrary which indicated that the original studies on Vitamin C were flawed, and that epi-demiological data showed no evidence at all that higher amounts of ascorbic acid caused cancer. (see also Acu-Cell Disorders “Cancer”).

Food Sources;-
All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C. Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe.

Other excellent sources include papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples.

Side Effects:-
Vitamin C toxicity is very rare, because the body cannot store the vitamin. However, amounts greater than 2,000 mg/day are not recommended because such high doses can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea.Sometimes   increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

For adults, the recommended upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements can cause:

*Diarrhea
*Nausea
*Vomiting
*Heartburn
*Abdominal cramps
*Headache
*Insomnia
*Kidney stones

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

But always remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.

Headlines about oxidative damage (DNA mutations) attributed to taking Vitamin C in excess of 500 mg per day had many people step back and reconsider their supplemental routines.  In addition, similar studies had come to light just prior to the Vitamin C revelation about the potential problems of regularly supplementing
Beta Carotene.  This however, as it turned out later, only applied to smokers who had used higher doses of synthetic, but not natural sources of beta carotene, which made the use of natural-source, mixed carotenoids  the preferred choice and more popular.

Once the headlines on the possible DNA-damaging potential from taking higher doses of Vitamin C faded, most people continued where they left off and resumed their previous regimen again, especially following  publications to the contrary which indicated that the original studies on Vitamin C were flawed, and that epi-demiological data showed no evidence at all that higher amounts of ascorbic acid caused cancer. (see also Acu-Cell Disorders “Cancer”).

However, questions on what daily amounts of Vitamin C could be considered to be an “overdose” still come up on a regular basis, to which unfortunately, there is no universal answer applicable to everyone, because overdosing on Vitamin C – just like overdosing on any other nutrient  –  is RELATIVE to the level of those elements that interact with Vitamin C.  In other words, it all depends on the combined intake of all  synergistic and antagonistic nutrients, and their ratio to Vitamin C.

Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including:

*Dry and splitting hair
*Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
*Bleeding gums
*Rough, dry, scaly skin
*Decreased wound-healing rate
*Easy bruising
*Nosebleeds
*Weakened tooth enamel
*Swollen and painful joints
*Anemia
*Decreased ability to fight infection
*Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism

A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

Recommendations:-

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins, including vitamin C, is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

Vitamin C should be consumed every day because it is not fat-soluble and, therefore, cannot be stored for later use.

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following amounts of vitamin C:

Infants and Children
*0 – 6 months: 40 milligrams/day (mg/day)
*7 – 12 months: 50 mg/day
*1 – 3 years: 15 mg/day
*4 – 8 years: 25 mg/day
*9 – 13 years: 45 mg/day

Adolescents
*Girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg/day
*Boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg/day

Adults
*Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
*Women age 19 year and older: 75 mg/day
*Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who smoke need higher amounts. Ask your doctor what is best for you.

Resources:
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Vitamin_C/overview/adam20?fdid=Adamv2_002404
http://www.acu-cell.com/vitc.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-c/AN01801

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *