Vitamin C

By: Taylor

What is Vitamin C?

Also, known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential nutrient needed by the human body. It is water soluble and plays an important role in a number of bodily functions.

Functions of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is described as a powerful nutrient that serves many important functions:

It helps in boosting the immune system of the body thus, maintaining the overall health of an individual.
The most important function of vitamin C is that it helps the body make collagen. Collagen is an important protein which is responsible for the formation of cartilage, tendons, skin, ligaments and blood vessels.
It is known to help in the improvement of macular degeneration.
Vitamin C helps in healing wounds and for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
It protects the body against bacteria, parasites infections and viruses including common cold, stuffy nose, and aches. Intake of vitamin C during cold and flu is known to reduce the risk of such complications like pneumonia and lung infections.
It helps prevent cancer and disease of the heart. A study also reveals that it prevents stroke.
It acts as a protective shield against harmful environmental and bacterial toxins, pollution and dangerous pesticides, and harmful molecules known as free radicals. Vitamin C acts as important antioxidants.
It prevents the hardening of the arteries.
It is effective in lowering cholesterol.
Recent study shows that vitamin C can lower the blood sugar thus, reducing the risk of getting diabetes.
Sources of Vitamin C

Fruits and Vegetables:

papaya, pineapple, mango, kiwi fruit, watermelon, orange, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green and red peppers, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes and tomato juice, winter squash, spinach, turnip greens and other leafy green vegetables.

Animal Products:

beef liver, pork liver, lamb brain, chicken liver, milk


some cereals and beverages are also found to be fortified with vitamin C.

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency is very rare, although studies have shown that many people have low levels of vitamin C. Smokers are considered to be at high risk of vitamin C deficiency as smoking cigarettes lowers the level of vitamin C in the body. Low levels of vitamin C are associated with:

Bleeding gums
Weakened tooth enamel
Scaly skin/ rough and dry skin
Easy bruising/ decreased wound-healing rate
Gallbladder disease
Decreased ability to fight infection
High blood pressure
In severe case it leads to scurvy
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin C

Age Group Adequate Intake mg/day
Infants0-6 months7-12 months 40 mg50 mg
Children 1-3 years4-8 years 15 mg25 mg
Males9-13 years14 -18 years
19 years and older

45 mg75 mg
90 mg

Females9-13 years14-18 years
19 years and older

45 mg65 mg
75 mg

Pregnant Females14 to 18 years 18 years and above
Breastfeeding women

14 to 18 years

18 years and above

80 mg85mg

115 mg

120 mg

Tips and Warnings

Because smoking reduces the level of vitamin C in the body, a smoker requires an additional 35 mg per day.
Always consult your physician before consuming vitamin C supplements because it is known to have side effects and reactions with other medicines.
People with hemochromatosis should not take vitamin C supplements because the supplement increases the amount of iron in the body.
High doses of vitamin C say above 2,000 mg daily can lead to diarrhea, and stomach upsets.
People with kidney and diabetes problems, pregnant women and those under treatment for cancer should consult their doctor before consuming vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C may have adverse reactions with medicines like aspirin, Tylenol, aluminum, oral contraceptives, tetracycline, chemotherapy drugs etc. If you are under these medications or any other always consult your doctor before taking vitamin C supplements.

For more information visit:

Article Directory:

| More

Please Rate this Article


Not yet Rated

Click the XML Icon Above to Receive Health Articles Articles Via RSS!

Powered by Article Dashboard