Importance of vitamin C in human health image

Importance Of Vitamin C In Human Health

Ascorbic acid or Fruits could prevent Scurvy. (a disease that killed approximately two million Sailors between 1500 and 1800).

Vitamin C is vital in controlling infections and healing wounds and is a powerful Antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals (e-). It is needed to make collagen tissue, a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is weaved throughout different systems in the body: nervous, cartilage, immune, bone, blood, and others. 

Recommended Amounts of Vit. C

  • RDA:  The Recommended Dietary-Allowance for Adults 19 years and older is 85-90 mg daily for men and 70-75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, the amount rises to 80-85 mg and 115-120 mg daily, respectively. Smoking can lower the Rdais suggested for smokers.

  • UL:  The Tolerable Upper-Intake Level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse effects on health. The upper limit for Vitamin C is 2000 mg daily; taking beyond this amount may promote GI distress, Diarrhea, etc. Only in a specific condition, such as under medical supervision or in controlled clinical trials, amounts higher than the UL are sometimes used.

For babies from birth to 12 months, an AI(adequate intake) for Vitamin C intake in a healthy, breastfed baby.

Table: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

0–6 months

40 mg*

40 mg*

   

7–12 months

50 mg*

50 mg*

   

1–3 years

15 mg

15 mg

   

4–8 years

25 mg

25 mg

   

9–13 years

45 mg

45 mg

   

14–18 years

75 mg

65 mg

80 mg

115 mg

19+ years

90 mg

75 mg

85 mg

120 mg

Smokers

Individuals who smoke require 35 mg/day
more Vitamin C than nonsmokers.

               

* Adequate Intake (AI)

The Health Benefits of Vit. C

Vitamins cannot override Serious health problems, and they often work together – and other lifestyle habits – like regular Vitamin C may offer health benefits in the areas like:

  1. Stress. A deficiency in Vitamin -C is associated with many stress-related diseases, and it is depleted in smokers, Alcoholics,  and obese individuals because Vitamins are sensitive to Stress.
  2. Colds. When it comes to viral flu or the common cold, Vitamin C for flu and Colds can lower the risk of developing further complications, such as lung infections and pneumonia.
  3. Stroke. A study says that those with the highest concentrations of Vitamin C in their Serum were associated with 42% less risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentrations of it. The reasons for this are not entirely proven. 
  4. Skin Aging. Vitamin C affects different types of cells in the body, and its Vitamin C intake was associated with a better skin-aging appearance, a lower wrinkled appearance, and dryness of the skin.

Some other studies have suggested that Vitamin -C may play an essential role in:

  • Improves macular-degeneration.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Lowers the risk of cancer and cardiovascular risk.
  • To neutralize free radical molecules, which can destroy the cells. 
  • Vitamin C is also involved in the Immune System by stimulating the activity of white blood cells(WBC).

Food Sources

Vegetables and Fruits are the best sources of this Vitamin.

The Vitamin C concentration of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and cooking because it is water soluble and destroyed by heat. 

Fortunately, the best food sources of Fruits and vegetables are in the raw form. 

Table 2: Vitamin -C Content of Selected Foods

Food

Milligrams (mg) per Serving

Percent (%) DV*

Red pepper, sweet, natural, ½ cup

95

106

Orange juice, ¾ cup

93

103

Orange, one medium

70

78

Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup

70

78

Kiwifruit, one medium

64

71

Green pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup

60

67

Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup

51

57

Strawberries, fresh, sliced, ½ cup

49

54

Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup

48

53

Grapefruit, ½ medium

39

43

Broccoli, raw, ½ cup

39

43

Tomato juice, ¾ cup

33

37

Cantaloupe, ½ cup

29

32

Cabbage, cooked, ½ cup

28

31

Cauliflower, basic, ½ cup

26

29

Potato, baked, one medium

17

19

Tomato, natural, one medium

17

19

Spinach, cooked, ½ cup

9

10

Green peas, frozen, cooked, ½ cup

8

9

*DV = Daily Value.

Symptoms of Deficiency

Vitamin-C deficiency is rare in developed countries but may occur with a limited diet that provides less than 10 mg per day for 3-4 weeks or Longer. In developed countries, situations at the highest risk for deficiency include drug addiction and eating a diet restricted in Symptoms of weakness.

  • Scurvy --is Characterized by weakness, Anemia, bruising, bleeding, and loose teeth.
  • Skin spots caused by bleeding from broken blood vessels
  • Bleeding or swelling of Gums and eventual loss of teeth
  • Hair loss
  • Delayed healing of skin wounds
  • Fatigue, malaise
  • Iron deficiency Anemia is due to decreased Absorption of iron. 

Interesting Facts

Vitamin C improves the Absorption of iron (non-heme), this type of iron is present in foods such as leafy greens. 

Drinking a glass of 100% Fruit juice or including Vitamin -C-rich food with meals can help bolster iron Absorption.

BECAUSE IT IS A WATER-SOLUBLE Vitamin C can be destroyed by heat and light. It can also Seep into cooking fluids and be lost if they are not drunk.

Quick heating methods, as well as using little water as possible when cooking, such as blanching or stir-frying, can preserve and protect the Vitamin

The ripened Fruits and vegetable in raw form contains the most Vit. C.

"People who consume more Vitamins and Minerals, it is potentially beneficial to health. 

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