Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is water soluble vitamin. It is a white crystal and heat labile. It has many benefits and is popular vitamin. It helps our body in so many ways. Vitamin C helps in boosting immune system and protects against infection. Another reason for the popularity of vitamin C is that, it produces collagen. This collagen helps in healing the wound faster and better and also it holds our organs in position. Vitamin C also protects skin from free radical damage that happen because of exposure to UV rays.
It prevents cancer. It protects cells and their DNA from damage and mutation because of its antioxidant properties. It also prevents cataracts and heart diseases. It also helps in improving high blood pressure and keeps the cholesterol in check, thus preventing stroke.
It is related to carbohydrate metabolism and helps in deposition of calcium and phosphates in the bones. It also takes part in maturation of red cells. It helps in relieving stress as it produces anti-stress hormones. It reduces the symptoms of asthma in some patients. Vitamin C decreases the level of LDL, Low -density lipoproteins (bad) cholesterol and increase level of the High-density lipoproteins (HDL or good) cholesterol. It also helps in preventing artherosclerosis.
Its deficiency can lead to deficiency in production of insulin and delayed blood clotting, delayed clot retraction and anemia can be seen.
Vitamin C is not prepared by our body; therefore it must be obtained through the diet or through supplements. Most of the vitamin C is lost in urine.
Sources of Vitamin C
Fresh fruits, mainly citrus fruits and tropical fruits like orange, lemon, tomato, papaya, pineapple, etc, fresh vegetables, properly sprouted pulses and germinating grams. Amla is very rich in vitamin C and can be taken in any form i.e. fresh or dry. Guava is also rich in vitamin C.
100 mgm of vitamin C daily is adequate to maintain the normal plasma level. For children (adolescents) – 30mgm to 80 mgm of vitamin C is recommended. For adults- 75 mgm of vitamin C is recommended. For pregnant ladies-100 mgm of vitamin C is recommended and during lactation – 150 mgm of vitamin C is recommended.