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Vitamin C

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The benefits of vitamin C, a.k.a. Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbate
Here's a vitamin C anecdote - History cites that several thousand
British sailors on long voyages often suffered from periodontal (gums)
and other skin conditions such as scurvy. Common treatment in those
days was giving the soldiers fresh lime. So is it anybody's guess that
one of the best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits?

Today vitamin C is touted to treat anything from a common cold to
cancer. Another great thing about vitamin C is that it helps increase
iron absorption, hence is recommended be eaten alongwith iron rich

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that the
body excretes in excess of its needs, and
replenishing the body's supplies daily is
essential for normal growth and development.

The benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C and wound healing
Vitamin C has a very important role to play
in collagen production and thus useful in
wound healing of all types, - simple cuts,
broken bones, burns and recovery from
surgical wounds. However, for the average
person, there's no evidence that megadoses
of Vitamin C make a difference, or that
megadoses can prevent colds. a vitamin C
rich diet though does help in fighting a common
cold or seasonal allergies by acting as a natural

Vitamin C as an antioxidant
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps neutralize day to day oxidative
stress** due to physiological and psychological reasons, by binding
up with free radicals and controlling infections. Vitamin C helps make
collagen, a tissue needed for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood
vessels as well as protecting the skin after exposure to ultraviolet
(UV) rays. Additionally, topical application of vitamin C helps form and
maintain scar tissue, blood vessels and cartilage. **(Oxidative stress induces many diseases such as Hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer and diabetes)
Vitamin C and diabetics
Vitamin C helps regulate the blood sugar levels of diabetics. (Just as Insulin enables glucose to enter
cells, so too it enables vitamin C to enter cells. So with low insulin levels people with diabetes may have insufficient vitamin C present in their cells.Supplementing with vitamin C can force it into body cells, and thus provide a protective mechanism against many diabetic complications).

Research shows that mega doses of 1,000 to 3,000 mg per day reduces glycosylated hemoglobin levels ( Hb A1c) as it does not permit glucose molecules to attach to blood cells. A great prophylaxis to prevent diabetic complications such as poor wound healing, problems with capillaries, and lowered blood circulation.
Other miscellaneous benefits of adequate Vitamin C in the body
  • It acts as a co factor facilitating the bio synthesis of many bio chemicals.
  • It helps in the synthesis of Carnitine required for proper energy metabolism
  • It helps in proper nerve communication by synthesizing certain neurotransmitters
  • It helps in the proper absorption of two important nutrients such as Iron and copper, so it is advisable to take iron supplements with Vitamin C
  • It is also known to be useful to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women,
  • Increase sperm count in men especially in smokers.
  • Treat Parkinson's disease, autoimmune disorders, and periodontal disease (gingivitis)

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences established
the following adequate intake levels for vitamin C for
infants and RDA for other age groups

0-6 months 40 mg
7-12 months 50 mg
1-3 years 15 mg
4-8 years 25 mg
Males/Female - 9-13 years 45 mg
Males/ Female- 14-18 years 75 mgs /65 mg
Males / Female-19 years and older 90 mgs /75 mg
Pregnant females 80-85 mg
Lactating females 115- 120 mg

FYI - Some studies show that 200 to 300 milligrams of vitamin C a day
appears to be a good level for optimal health and can be achieved with
a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a basic multivitamin.

Good Sources of Vitamin C - Foods rich in Vitamin C
Excellent sources of vitamin C include - Bell peppers, dark leafy greens
like spinach, fresh parsley, cilantro, etc, all varieties of berries -
strawberries, blueberries, cranberries etc, as well as vegetables
such as cauliflower and broccoli.


By. Vijayalakshmi Iyengar

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