Vitamin C , also known as ascorbic acid or just ascorbate, is essential in the metabolic reactions not only in animals but in plants. Ascorbic acid is also responsible for many physiological functions of the human body including the synthesis of collagen, neurotransmitters and carnitine. It also serves as an electron donor for eight different enzymes.
Scurvy, vitamin C deficiency
Deficiency in vitamin C can cause scurvy which leads to the appearance of brown spots on the skin especially in the legs and thighs, the bleeding of mucous membranes as well as soft gums that easily bleed.
Smokers who have low concentrations of vitamin C in their blood or those having diets with small amounts are at great risk of contracting lung borne illnesses.
Natural vitamin C can be obtained in significant amounts mostly from a variety of fruits such as guava, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit or its juice, strawberries, cantaloupe or melon.
One half cup of guava already contains 188 mg of while one medium kiwi contains 70 mg of the nutrient just like the medium size orange. 3/4 cup of grapefruit juice has 50 to 70 mg while strawberries contain 49 mg of the vitamin. A quarter of the melon has 47 mg. Other great sources of ascorbic acid are vegetables such as Brussels sprouts which is a kid friendly type veggie, tomato based juice cocktail, green sweet peppers, and red sweet pepper. Raw red sweet pepper offers the most solid dose of the nutrient amongst the veggies with 142 mgs.
Vitamin C is a very strong antioxidant and very essential in having a strong immune system and healthy tissues while aiding in the absorption of iron.
It is also a power shield against the cold virus.
Ascorbic acid combine with calcium and iron reliably counter lead poisoning. It is also a natural antihistamine and is effective in reducing serum uric acid levels which results in lower risk of having gout.
People with high amount of ascorbic acid in their blood reduce their chances of having a stroke.
The recommended daily allowance or RDA for men is 90 mg while adult woman need a daily dose of 75 mg of the vitamin.
Children up to 13 years old can have a daily dose of 15 to 45 mg, while those who are 14 to 18 can be given from 65 to 75 mg daily.
Pregnant women can take up to 85 mg everyday while breastfeeding moms should have 120 mg daily.
Warnings on over-dosage
Even though adults can consume up to 2000 mg of this vitamin, high doses in the thousands of milligrams, may cause diarrhea even in healthy adults.
Large doses may also cause indigestion when taken with an empty stomach.
Excessive doses in adults can also result in vomiting, nausea, flushing of the face, headache, fatigue and sleeplessness.
Skin rashes are the only main toxic reactions for infants with high amounts of vitamin in their body.