HealthNutrition

Vitamin C.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body’s healing process.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, X-rays or other sources. Free radicals might play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb and store iron.

is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system.

Because your body doesn’t produce vitamin C, you need to get it from your diet.

Sources of vitamin C are abundant and extend well beyond the ever-popular orange or orange juice. Many fruits and vegetables supply this vital vitamin. Sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kiwifruit, among others. You can enjoy these foods raw or cooked, but it’s important to note that fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C when heated or stored for long periods of time.

Vitamin C is also available as an oral supplement, typically in the form of capsules and chewable tablets.

Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin and cartilage — a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease, and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.

_ Possibly Effective for:

_Low levels of red blood cells in people with a long-term illness (anemia of chronic disease).

Taking vitamin C supplements might help manage anemia in people undergoing dialysis.

_Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).

Taking vitamin C for a few days before and after heart surgery helps prevent irregular heartbeat after heart surgery.

_Emptying the colon before a colonoscopy.

Before a person undergoes a colonoscopy, the person must make sure that their colon is empty. This emptying is called bowel preparation.

_Common cold.

There is some controversy about the effectiveness of vitamin C for treating the common cold.

However, most research shows that taking 1-3 grams of vitamin C might shorten the course of the cold by 1 to 1.5 days.

_Limb pain that usually occurs after an injury (complex regional pain syndrome).

Taking vitamin C after surgery or injury to the arm or leg seems to prevent complex regional pain syndrome from developing.

_Skin redness caused by injury or irritation (erythema).

Using a skin cream containing vitamin C might decrease skin redness following laser resurfacing for scar and wrinkle removal.

_Airway infections caused by exercise.

Using vitamin C before heavy physical exercise, such as a marathon or army training, might prevent upper airway infections that can occur after heavy exercise.

_High cholesterol.

Taking vitamin C might reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.

_High blood pressure.

Taking vitamin C along with medicine to lower blood pressure might help lower systolic blood pressure.

_Wrinkled skin.

Skin creams containing vitamin C seem to improve the appearance of wrinkled skin. A vitamin C patch also seems to help reduce wrinkles.

_Scientific evidence suggests vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts.

Also, when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

_Side Effects.

When taken by mouth: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in recommended doses. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and other side effects.

The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Amounts higher than 2000 mg daily are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause a lot of side effects.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that must be consumed regularly to prevent deficiency.

While deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries due to the availability of fresh produce and the addition of vitamin C to certain foods and supplements.

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.

1. Rough, Bumpy SkinVitamin C plays a key role in collagen production, a protein that is abundant in connective tissues like skin, hair, joints, bones and blood vessels

2. Corkscrew-Shaped Body HairVitamin C deficiency can also cause hair to grow in bent or coiled shapes due to defects that develop in the protein structure of hair as it grows.

3. Spoon-Shaped Fingernails With Red Spots or LinesSpoon-shaped nails are characterized by their concave shape and often thin and brittle.

4. Easy BruisingBruising occurs when blood vessels under the skin rupture, causing blood to leak into the surrounding areas.

5. Slowly Healing Wounds. Since vitamin C deficiency slows the rate of collagen formation, it causes wounds to heal more slowly.

6. Painful, Swollen JointsSince joints contain a lot of collagen-rich connective tissue, they can also be affected by vitamin C deficiency.

7. Weak BonesVitamin C deficiency can also affect bone health. In fact, low intake has been linked to increased risk of fracture and osteoporosis.

8. Bleeding Gums and Tooth LossRed, swollen, bleeding gums are another common sign of vitamin C deficiency.

9. Poor Immunity. Studies show that vitamin C accumulates inside various types of immune cells to help them combat infection and destroy disease-causing pathogens.

10. Persistent Iron Deficiency AnemiaVitamin C and iron deficiency anemia often occur together.

11. Fatigue and Poor Mood. Two of the earliest signs of vitamin C deficiency are fatigue and poor mood.

12. Unexplained Weight Gain. Vitamin C may help protect against obesity by regulating the release of fat from fat cells, reducing stress hormones and decreasing inflammation.

13. Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative StressVitamin C is one of the body’s most important water-soluble antioxidants.

It helps prevent cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

References :

Vitamin C”, www.mayoclinic.org

Marisa Moore “How Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System “، www.eatright.org

VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID), www.webmd.com

“Vitamin C”, www.aoa.org

Erica Julson  “15 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency”، www.healthline.com

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