Vitamin C ( ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, We can’t store it in the body, which means we need it from our diet every day.The benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
It is a powerful antioxidant for the synthesis of collagen, which helps to make blood vessels and body muscles strong. The human body doesn’t have the capacity to generate Vitamin C. Therefore, it needs to be received through food and other supplements.
The important sources of Vitamin C are any citrus fruits, such as Amla (Indian Gooseberryies) oranges and grapes. Strawberries, raspberries, cabbages, cauliflower, other leafy vegetables, red peppers, potatoes, broccoli, chilies, watercress, parsley, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupes, mange tout, and kiwi fruits are also rich sources of this vitamin. The cooking of food at low temperatures and for short times is important to keep the Vitamin C preserved and beneficial in the food.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
1.Brain Health: Vitamin C to produce serotonin, a hormone that plays a critical role in wide variety of body systems, including the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, and digestive system. Vitamin C is necessary to make certain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are the signals that carry thoughts, feelings, and commands around our brains and throughout our nervous system.
Many of our moods, daily bodily rhythms (including sleep-wake cycles), and experiences of stress and pain have serotonin included as a factor in their occurrence. Some of the most commonly used prescription medications for depression (SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Reupdate Inhibitors) also target this hormone. We do recommend that you include vitamin C- rich foods on a daily basis as part of your overall well-being.
2.Cancer prevention: A study had suggested that high-dose of vitamin C can enhance the cancer-killing effect of drugs used in chemotherapy for cancer patients. Vitamin C has also been found to be target specific unlike other drugs which can harm normal cells as well. Researchers believe that vitamin C can be a safe and cost-effective treatment for ovarian, lung and some other cancers.
3.Lowers the risk of heart diseases and stroke: Vitamin C impacts several aspects of cardiac health, ranging from blood pressure to endothelial health.
Scientists have warned us against the dangerous buildup of plaque that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Researchers are investigating the possibilities that vitamin C may play a role in reducing our risk of plaque buildup.
Vitamin C has an excellent antioxidant property. It scavenges free radicals that can cause damage to the wall of arteries and increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke. It also lowers cholesterol and improves blood flow, which also helps to prevent heart diseases.
4.Regulates sugar levels in diabetics: This nutrient can help regulate blood sugar levels. Since insulin helps vitamin C, as well as glucose, get into cells, people with diabetes may not have enough vitamin C inside many of their cells. Just like glucose, vitamin C can’t do its work if it’s not inside of a cell. Supplementing vitamin C can force it into body cells, where it can protect against the many complications of diabetes.
5.Vitamins for Ligaments & Tendons: Many vitamins and minerals have essential roles in tissue repair, including to ligaments and tendons.Not only may vitamin C help reduce or prevent delayed onset muscle soreness due to exercise, it may also speed along recovery. Vitamin C helps our bodies produce collagen, which strengthens the connective tissue that forms our ligaments and tendons. When we’re injured, our requirements for vitamin C seem to increase. If too little is consumed, this will negatively impact the healing process. Getting enough vitamin C also helps limit further injury to damaged tissue and muscles.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids can help build collagen formation and strengthen the capillaries making them less fragile and unlikely to break during use. Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple and papain, an enzyme from papaya, both aid in the breakdown of protein and when taken internally can help break up congestion in the blood vessel walls. This can help remove waste material that can cause swelling an inflammation.
6.Vitamin C for Collagen: Collagen is the framework for our skin and our bones, and without it, we would quite literally fall apart.Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, a protein that plays a critical role in the structure of our bodies.
People who have this condition lose teeth, bleed easily, and lose the strength of their bones. Luckily, it doesn’t take much vitamin C to prevent this problem. As we’ve known for more than two centuries, a single lime per day would usually be enough.
7.Colds: When it comes to the common cold, vitamin C may not be a cure. But some studies show that it may help prevent more serious complications. Vitamin C enhances the immune system of our body, which protects us from colds and coughs.There is good evidence taking vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections, It facilitates the absorption of iron and therefore
strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses.
8.Curing Cataracts : Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more commonly when cataracts are present. An increase of vitamin C intake increases the blood supply to he ocular areas of the body.
9.May reduce the development of neurological disorders: A German study found that the blood levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene are were extremely low in patients having with mild dementia. This suggests that boosting vitamin C levels may help in reducing the progression of dementia and other neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
10.Controlling Asthma: Ascorbic acid also helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma. It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution in the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms.
11.Urinary tract infection. A daily vitamin C supplement (100 milligrams) can reduce the risk of developing a urinary tract infection in pregnant women. Vitamin C stops the growth of some bacteria by making urine more acidic.
12.Lowering Hypertension: People with hypertension are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The supplement of vitamin C intake helps in lowering the body’s blood pressure.
- Promotes Healthy Skin and Collagen Formation: Vitamin C is used to form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It helps to heal your wound and it form scar tissue.A major study that involved over 4,000 women aged 40-74 found that higher vitamin C intakes can lower the likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and can help to naturally slow aging.Maintaining healthy skin through a diet high in antioxidants is one important way to prevent skin cancer.
See what C can do:
Reduce the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damageHelps boost healthy collagen production (hello, firmer skin!).Reduce inflammation and irritation, both of which cause a cascade of damage.Fade post-breakout red marks by improving skin’s natural healing response.Increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skins defense against UV exposure
- Lowers Risk of Gout:Vitamin C is associated with lowering the risk of gout, which is Gout is a painful, arthritis type condition mainly afflicting the big toe. The big toe becomes stiff, inflamed and painful as a result of excess uric acid leading to crystals formed in joints.
In a long-term study of males over the age of 40, who took between 1,000 and 1,499 mg of vitamin C per day, their risk of gout was reduced by 31%. Participants who took over 1,500 mg of vitamin C per day have almost half the risk of getting gout. This is compared to those who did not take supplements.
- Healthy Hair: Vitamin C helps the hair retain moisture to prevent breakage or dryness. Having hair that’s splitting or dry is a common sign of vitamin C deficiency.
How to Take It
The best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 – 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 – 500 mg twice a day for any benefit. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis and before giving vitamin C to a child.
Daily intake of dietary vitamin C (according to the National Academy of Sciences) is listed below.
Birth – 6 months: 40 mg (Adequate intake)
Infants 6 – 12 months: 50 mg (Adequate intake)
Children 1 – 3 years: 15 mg
Children 4 – 8 years: 25 mg
Children 9 – 13 years: 45 mg
Adolescent girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg
Adolescent boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg
Men over 18 years: 90 mg
Women over 18 years: 75 mg
Pregnant women 14 – 18 years: 80 mg
Pregnant women over 18 years: 85 mg
Breastfeeding women 14 – 18 years: 115 mg
Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 120 mg
Because smoking depletes vitamin C, people who smoke may need an additional 35 mg per day.
The dose recommended to prevent or treat many of the conditions mentioned in the Uses section is often 500 – 1,000 mg per day.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
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