Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Is Vitamin C and Its Benefit?

Sometimes in life, many people are diagnosed having vitamin C deficiency by their healthcare professionals and they are then advised to take vitamin C supplements. You may wonder what exactly vitamin C is and how they offer benefits to our overall health system. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, as isolated during 1928. In this article, we will begin our discussion by giving a brief overview on what vitamin C is and then continue our discussion by analyzing its potential benefits, its availability in nature and associated side effects.

Vitamin C is soluble in the water. It is a vital component influencing healthy growth and development. Quite obviously, similar to other water soluble vitamins, vitamin C dissolves in the water. That means our body is unable to stock them up. Additional supply of water-soluble vitamins excretes from the body with the process of urination. Hence, people need a persistent supply of these types of vitamins.

Potential Benefits

Since you gain a basic understanding about what vitamin C is we now look further in identifying different spectrums of potential benefits associated with this vitamin. Vitamin C is inevitably required for healthy growth and development in the sense that it helps in repairing the damaged tissues in the body. It is an essential ingredient in collagen formation. Collagen significantly contributes to the development of skin, scar tissues, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons.

Additionally, we must not forget to consider what vitamin C is contributing to heal the injuries, as well as to refurbish and retain cartilage, teeth and bones. Vitamin C is a great contributor of antioxidants as well. Hence, it helps in blocking the cellular damages caused by free radicals, formed as a result of by-product during energy transformation. Free radicals are truly responsible for premature aging and other degenerative diseases.

Availability

Admitted that our bodies can not produce this vitamin, but our Mother Nature has an abundant supply of this vitamin, since almost all the fruits and vegetables have at least some quantity of vitamin C in it. Tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, green peppers, papaya, mango, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, red peppers, winter squash, watermelon, cauliflower, raspberries, cranberries, and other green leafy vegetables are great sources of vitamin C.

Side Effects

Although toxicity is very rare since the body is unable to store vitamin C, 2000 mg/day is set as limit what defines vitamin C is going to produce adverse effect beyond this limitation. Consuming higher dosages than necessary may lead to the development of stomach upset and diarrhea. A deficiency in vitamin C may lead to several health complications including dry hair, gum inflammation, rough skin, easy bruising, bleeding from nose, anemia and many others.

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