Facts on Vitamin C

The facts on vitamin C have been widely researched for centuries, particularly since Dr. James Lind shared the results of his experiments on British sailors in 1753 who, when given large amounts of lemons and oranges appeared to avoid contracting Scurvy. Also known as ascorbic acid, it is possibly one of the best known vitamins worldwide. Although many consume it in supplemental form, the best sources of vitamin C are from fresh vegetables and fruits.

vitaminc Facts on Vitamin C

Nutritional Benefits

Aside from boosting the immune system to the degree that common colds can be prevented or cured, the facts on vitamin C show a wide range of other nutritional benefits including:

  • Assisting in increasing calcium and iron absorption from the intestines
  • Necessary for collagen formation
  • Converts folic acid and B complex vitamins from inactive to active forms
  • Synthesizing red blood cells
  • Assists the cells in producing carnitine (which helps burn fat)
  • Assists the liver in producing bile
  • Assists in the production of the norepinephrine neurotransmitter (which prevents depression)

Health Benefits

The facts on vitamin C and its benefit to overall health show that it:

  • Promotes wound healing
  • Protects and enhances the immune system
  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Supports a healthy heart and lowers the risk of a heart attack
  • May help in the prevention of some forms of cancer
  • Can lower the presence of lead in the bloodstream

Symptoms of Deficiency

One of the oldest diseases that the facts on vitamin C show its successful treatment of is the skin disease known as scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency of this key vitamin. Specific symptoms of this potentially fatal disease are:

  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Bleeding hair follicles
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Bleeding eyes
  • Painful joints and bones
  • Fatigue

The facts on vitamin C show that if it is totally eliminated from the diet, symptoms of scurvy may occur in as few as 90 days. However, if the vitamin is merely reduced in the diet, the symptoms may take longer to develop and may appear in slightly different ways, such as:

  • Poor growth patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Bleeding beneath the skin

Women currently taking birth control pills and cigarette smokers are at greater risk for developing a vitamin C deficiency, as are some elderly people.

Food Sources

Studies of the facts on vitamin C show that the best food sources for this vitamin include, but are not limited to:

  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Grapefruits
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Kale
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rose hips
  • Aloe Vera
  • Kelp

Precaution

Facts on vitamin C support that it is highly unstable and prolonged air exposure causes a rapid loss of the vitamin in unrefrigerated foods. Alkali also destroys vitamin C. It is best preserved through the following measures:

  • Avoid cooking with copper pots and utensils
  • Use very small amounts of water when cooking and only add vitamin C foods to water that has begun the boiling process (best cooked in a steam pressure cooker)
  • Avoid cutting vitamin C foods excessively

Persons with kidney stones, gout, sickle cell or who have trouble storing iron should consult a professional before consuming vitamin C supplements. It should also be noted that vitamin C supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of some diabetes medications.

The facts on vitamin C support it as being one of the most widely studied and most popular vitamins essential to the human diet. Commonly used in natural cures and home remedies, it has been relied upon for centuries for immune support and to avoid dangerous diseases. In moderate doses there is no risk of toxicity, making vitamin C foods safe to consume on a regular basis.

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