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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential vitamin which cannot be produced by body itself. As the body cannot produce this vitamin, it should be taken from foods. It plays an important role in healing process of the body. As a strong antioxidant, it protects the cells from harmful effects of free radicals. Experts recommend that it should mainly be taken from foods. Today, many individuals with its deficiency are using supplements. The daily amount of it that should be consumed by adult women is 90 milligram. And it is 75 milligram in men.
It is an essential nutrient which should be taken at adequate amounts to sustain a healthy life. It is responsible for the formation and protection of the bones, skin and blood vessels. While it can be found in some foods, it is mostly found in fruits and vegetables. Our body needs it to form cartilage, collagen and muscle. Our body’s ability to absorb and store iron is based on adequate Vitamin C consumption.
Individuals with certain gastrointestinal disorders are especially more predisposed to Vitamin C deficiency. This is because it enables iron absorption through gastrointestinal system. One of the most important functions of it is fighting against free radicals. Free radicals are the molecules that are released when our body burn the foods or is exposed to radiation and tobacco smoke. These molecules may cause serious health problems, mainly cardiac and cancerous disorders.
It strengthens our body’s natural defense mechanism. Consuming abundant amount of it may increase the antioxidant amount in bloody by 30%. Thereby, it contributes body’s fight against inflammation and prevents free radical accumulation in our body. Otherwise, accumulation of free radicals may lead to chronic diseases and oxidative stress.
Vitamin C intake reduces risk of many chronic diseases including cardiac disorders which can be triggered by oxidative stress.
It has positive effects on lowering high blood pressure which is one of the most important causes of heart attack. Scientific studies have shown that it lowers blood pressure and relaxes the vessels carrying blood from the heart.
Vitamin C provides protection against heart diseases which may be caused by many factors including high blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol, etc. It protects you from this fatal disease by fighting against risk factors for heart disease. According to a study, individuals who consume 700 mg of Vitamin C daily for 10 years have a lower risk of heart disease by 25% compared to the individuals who do not take vitamin supplement. This study showed that both foods and dietary supplements decrease risk factors for heart disease.
It fights against gout which is caused by high uric acid levels in the blood and characterized by joint inflammation, swelling and sudden-onset pain. In a study in 1387 male participants, it was detected that men who consume high amounts of it have considerably lower level of uric acid in the blood. Another study have shown that individuals who consume Vitamin C supplement for 20 years have a 44% lower risk of gout. However, more scientific studies are needed to determine the association between Vitamin C and gout.
Being responsible for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transport all over the body, iron is an important nutrient for our health. It increases iron deficiency and facilitates the absorption of iron which is absorbed poorly from herbal sources. Consumption of 100 mg vitamina C can increase the iron absorption a great deal, by 67%. Thereby, it also protects the individual from anemia which is a result of iron deficiency.
Promoting white blood cell production, it protects our body from infections. Protecting white blood cells against free radicals, it ensures that these cells function more productively. In addition to strengthening skin barriers, it also shortens the healing process of the wounds.
Forgetfulness, and thinking and remembering difficulties which are especially seen in elderly can be resolved by consuming abundant amount of it. As a strong antioxidant, it protects and strengthens memory.
As a strong antioxidant, it repairs tissues and it reduces the possible damages of inflammation and oxidation. It contributes to preventing many types of infections, mainly acute respiratory tract infections. According to a study, it was found to be able to kill drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.
Stimulating the antioxidants in the body, it protects our body against oxidative stress. Studies have determined that high Vitamin C consumption stops the growth of cancerous cells. Physicians have recommended to consume abundant amount of it especially to patients with limited treatment options. On the other hand, some scientists objected the use of it in chemotherapy. Studies on the benefit of it in chemotherapy are still ongoing.
Ascorbic acid is a crucial molecule for skin health with its antioxidant properties and its role in collagen synthesis. Taken by natural food or supplements, ascorbic acid has beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have shown that it limits the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Its topical use delay the symptoms of aging. Moreover, it accelerates wound healing. You can use vitamin C serum for this.
Following is a list of best vitamin C serum:
Contrary to popular wisdom, no satisfying results were obtained showing that it protects us from common cold or accelerates the healing process.
For adequate Vitamin C intake, you should include fruits like orange, mandarin and lemon and vegetables like cabbage, red pepper and spinach to your diet. If your doctor detected that you have its deficiency, you can use supplements after consulting with your doctor. If you are pregnant, you should consume 100 mg daily.
Inadequate consumption of foods containing it may result in Vitamin C deficiency. It may especially be seen in individuals with malnutrition, severe mental illness, using alcohol and tobacco and receiving dialysis treatment.
Its deficiency may cause chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, anemia, gingival hemorrhage and teeth loss. If the oxidative stress and chronic inflammation becomes severe, they may lead to serious chronic diseases such as cardiac diseases and diabetes.
Vitamin C deficiency can easily be detected by blood test. It is mostly accompanied by Vitamin D deficiency. Your physician may also check if you have Vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore, he/she may also request other tests to detect whether you have other vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
High dose Vitamin C is defined as more than 1000 mg of it consumption daily. This especially develops after excessive use of supplements. The insufficient absorption of daily consumed it by bowels may lead to certain side effects.
Consuming too much Vitamin C supplements may trigger kidney stone formation. Postmenopausal women may experience some cardiovascular problems. However, this is yet to be proven. Individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis (a type of iron absorption disorder) may experience tissue damage. Therefore, individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis must consult with their doctor before using supplements.
References: 1- Vitamin C, 2- Vitamin C and Skin Health, 3- Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency