Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, beverages and available as a dietary supplement. Humans inability to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, makes it an essential dietary component.
Some of the important function of vitamin C in the body are;
Needed for the biosynthesis of collagen. Collagen is an essential for connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing.
L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters;
Ascorbic acid is involved in protein metabolism
Vitamin C is world famous as an antioxidant. It also regenerates other antioxidants within your body.
Improves the absorption of non-heme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.
Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue, widespread connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.
Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30 –180 mg/day (Source: National Institute of Health). High level of vitamin C is maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes or WBC (White Blood Cells – the immune system), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain. And low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.
Where do you find Vitamin C Inadequacy majorly
The following folks are more likely than others to be at risk of obtaining vitamin c inadequacy;
Smokers and passive “smokers”
Several studies show that smokers have lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels than nonsmokers, due in part to increased oxidative stress. For this reason, smokers and passive smokers need 35 mg more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers. Exposure to smokers or a passive smoker also decreases vitamin C levels. Although there is no established research and findings on the same. However, regularly exposure to secondhand smoke, may cause vitamin C deficiency in passive smokers.
Infants fed boiled milk
For many reasons, feeding infants evaporated or boiled cow’s milk is not recommended in many developed countries. Cow’s milk naturally has very less portion of vitamin C and heat can destroy vitamin C.
Limited food variety
Although fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C, many other foods have small amounts of it. Thus, through a varied diet, most people should be able to meet the vitamin C requirement. People who have limited food variety due to ailments or digestive issues including some elderly, people who abuse alcohol or drugs; food faddists; people with mental illness; and, occasionally, children might not obtain sufficient vitamin C.
Mal-absorption and certain chronic diseases
Mal-absorption is a disorder that occurs when people are unable to absorb nutrients from their diets, both micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients. Some commonly Mal-absoption disorders related are lactose intolerance and Celiac disease. In other case some medical conditions reduces the absorption of vitamin C and increase the amount needed by the body. For example, low vitamin C concentrations can also occur in patients with end-stage renal disease on chronic hemodialysis (Kidney Disease).
Vitamin C and your health
Post pandemic Vitamin C became popular overnight as an immunity booster and healer of common cold/flu. Vitamin is very highly effective to have a beautiful flawless skin. Beside common cold and its high anti-oxidant properties Vitamin C has other beneficial sides. Let’s get to know about them;
Vitamin C along with Zinc becomes a potion for skin and hair. Together, Vitamin C and Zinc works highly in favor of skin health, hair and nail health too. There are amazing supplements of Vitamin C + Zinc available as OTC product. Regular consumption of this supplement at least for 2-3 months will give you surprising results.
Numerous laboratory studies have shown that right dosage of vitamin C can slow down the growth of prostate, liver, colon, and other types of cancer cells. Higher concentrations of vitamin C might also help in cancer treatment, however there is no deep research backing.
Ascorbate also killed cancer cells, as noted in numerous studies.
For Heart health:
As per one study, vitamin C might play a role in reducing heart disease risk. Studies state that vitamin C could be as good as exercise for your heart. A regular dose of vitamin C can hinder the activity of endothelin-1 (a protein), which leads to the constriction of small blood vessels reducing risk of heart attack. Vitamin C can also lower your blood pressure and keep your arteries flexible.
Vitamin C supplementation found to lower serum cholesterol levels, and this could help avert coronary heart disease.
Enhances Eye Health
Evidence suggests that vitamin C intake can lower the risk of cataracts by 20%. The vitamin, when taken with other essential nutrients (Macro & Micro), can prevent age related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss. Vitamin C could also helpful in the proper functioning of your retinal cells as per studies. It works on blood vessels keeping the eye sight healthy.
Regulates Blood Pressure Levels
There is a report by Johns Hopkins Medicine, large doses of vitamin C can lower blood pressure.Vitamin C acts as a diuretic and helps the kidneys to remove more sodium and water from the body, reliving the pressure on blood vessel walls.
Vitamin C also protects your body’s supply of NO (Nitric Oxide). Nitric Oxide is a molecule relaxes the blood vessels. The blood pressure lowering effect can be attributed to Vitamin C supplements in a dose of 500 mg per day could reduce systolic blood pressure by 4 points and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 points in a period of 2 months.
Improves Your Mood
Studies on hospitalized patients have proved that taking adequate amounts of vitamin C can lift-up mood. It has mood-elevating effects.
Vitamin C supplementation was also found to reduce anxiety. University students, professionals or anyone who is undergoing stress and anxiety can think of having needed supplements.
Vitamin C is a vitamin that your body cannot produce by itself, so it has to be obtained through diet and supplements. It is a potent antioxidant and does numerous functions in the body. So, eat Vitamin C rich food along with supplements to fill the need and gap. As we said earlier, Vitamin C with Zinc does magic on skin and hair. So go ahead and enjoy a healthy and fitter YOU.