Nutrition

Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid (Vitamins Part II)


Vitamin C, I personally think is a mega vitamin. It has five major functions in the body:

  1. Antioxidant activity: prevents the oxidation of lipids (cell damage from free radicals taking electrons from the lipids.)
  2. Collagen synthesis: to help strengthen collagen and fight off certain diseases of the skin.
  3. Is involved with iron absorption to help the function of iron-containing enzymes.
  4. It is involved in enzyme activity includes playing roles for helping copper containing enzymes to work.
  5. Its big one is immune system activity, there are certain cells in the body that rely on vitamin C for full activity.

 

The most recognized source of vitamin c. Source.
The most recognized source of vitamin C. Source.

 

However, consuming too much vitamin C also leads to problems such as rebound scurvy which happens when you stop taking it. The enzymes that have been metabolized and produced from the high amounts of vitamin C are working in overdrive. When you decrease your vitamin C intake to normal levels, you are left susceptible to scurvy because your defenses are down. Daily amounts: are from 30 to 180 milligrams but people usually consumed 80% of this.

Sources: citrus fruits, red and green peppers, Kiwi, broccoli, baked potatoes and tomatoes as well as foods that have been fortified.

So far it looks like consuming a good amount of vitamin C may decrease your chances of developing several types of cancer although this is still researched. It’s also beneficial to people with heart disease as it can lower your risks. Doctors think that it is because of the antioxidant properties.

It does not seem to have any real benefit over the common cold, as in it’s not really going to reduce your chances of developing it. Although people that take it may have a shorter colds than someone who doesn’t take vitamin C supplements or consume vitamin C regularly. I think this has more to do with it building up your immune system. It also helps reduce histamine levels so that can also can also be a reason that your colds are not as severe.

VitaminC“ von Claudius Tesch – selbst fotografiert von Claudius Tesch. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

Enjoy everyone, and stay tuned for part III next Wednesday covering vitamins A and D. 🙂

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