Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is important for the growth and renewal of tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, bones, and teeth, promotes the absorption of iron by the body, and accelerates recovery. Its benefits and value are very high in protecting against infections. It acts as a stimulant for the launch of immune processes.
The daily requirement for vitamin C
A person’s daily need for vitamin C depends on a number of factors: age, gender, pregnancy, climatic conditions, and bad habits. The average daily dose of vitamin C is 70-100 mg.
The benefits of vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is an active participant in various processes in the body, but the body cannot synthesize the vitamin on its own, so it is important to eat foods rich in vitamin C or take pharmacy complexes.
Main functions of vitamin C:
- Helps the body synthesize the protein collagen, which is the basis of muscles, bones, cartilage, blood vessels, skin, and all body tissues.
- Accelerates wound regeneration (healing) processes.
- It is an anti-stress vitamin – under the stress of any nature, its reserves are quickly depleted.
- This primarily concerns people who smoke, drink alcohol, and suffer from obesity. The level of vitamin C in the blood is a marker (indicator) of health (Journal of Preventive and Alternative Medicine Seminars).
- Protects against viral and bacterial infections: stimulates the formation of immune cells, interferon, and antibodies. The use of vitamins reduces the duration of acute respiratory viral infections by 23% (Zakharova I.M., Skorobogatova E.V. Vitamin deficiency in children: modern possibilities of correction // Consillium medium. – 2004, Vol. 6, No. 3) and vice versa, vitamin C deficiency leads to immune suppression. A sufficient amount of vitamin C can prevent the risk of complications such as pneumonia and lung infections.
- It protects “good” cholesterol from oxidation, helps to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, and prevents the development of atherosclerosis. People with a high content of vitamin C in their diet had a 42% lower risk of stroke than people with a vitamin C deficiency in their diet (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2008, No. 87, pp. 64-69).
- Protects “good” cholesterol from oxidation, helps to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, and prevents the development of atherosclerosis. People with high levels of vitamin C in their diets had a 42% lower risk of stroke than people with a lack of vitamin C in their diets (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2008, #87, pp. 64-69).
- It is a strong antioxidant: a molecule of vitamin C gives 1 or 2 electrons to a free radical and makes it inactive. Free radicals are known to cause nearly 100 diseases, such as inflammation, heart, vascular, eye, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature aging. It protects DNA from free radical damage, blocks the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines from nitrates (many nitrates are contained in cigarette smoke), and reduces the risk of tumor formation.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency
The first sign is the appearance of rough red lines on the bottom of the tongue.
The second sign is spots and even groups of small red dots or scales on the skin of the shoulders. In addition, pay attention to gums that bleed when brushing your teeth, and when chewing solid food. Vitamin C is poorly absorbed by older people or those who have had serious illnesses.
In such cases, natural foods rich in vitamin C should be added to the patient’s diet.
What foods contain vitamin C
- citrus fruits
- black currant
- rose hips
- bell pepper
- cauliflower and white cabbage
- Vitamin C is found in green onion, sorrel, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and pumpkins.