Vitamin C…

Let’s continue through the alphabet of vitamins.  Next up is Vitamin C.

Vitamin C defined…

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that the human body doesn’t store it. Basically, excess is pissed away.  This also means you have to get it from the food that you eat.  There are some animals out there however, that do have the ability to produce vitamin C within their bodies.

Vitamin C is required in order to produce collagen.  Collagen is a protein that plays an important role in the structure of our bodies. Collagen supports the make up of our skin and bones.  Think of collagen as the glue that holds our body together.  Without it, we would fall apart!

Thus, it is an essential nutrient for the body to function.  Vitamin C is best known as an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are forms of molecules that help keep chemical reactions in our body in check. Antioxidants help prevent excessive activity on the part of free radical molecules.  A lot more detail on this subject can be found in my blog post here.

Health benefits and deficiency…

Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to conditions such as scurvy. Brown spots develop on the body, mostly the legs.  You develop bleeding gums as well as bleeding in mucous membranes.  Teeth eventually start to fall out.  These conditions can worsen and eventually lead to death.  Many sailors when the New World was discovered, suffered and died from this condition due to lack of fruits carried on board the sailing vessels.

Although some people say that vitamin C can help fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease or other chronic ailments, there have not been any valid scientific studies that have proven this.

Studies showing benefits to avoiding or reducing the days one suffers from the common cold has shown some positive results.

Food Sources…

It is best to get your daily dose of vitamin C from foods such as fruits and vegetables rather than through supplementation.

Most people think that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit have the highest amount of vitamin C as well as mango, papaya and cantaloupe.  While these fruits do contain high levels of C, there are many vegetables that beat that.

Most dark leafy vegetables are very high in C as well as yellow bell peppers, peas and tomatoes.

Most berries in this family are also high in C like strawberries and blue berries.

Toxicity levels…

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 mg per day.  The upper limit is 2,000 mg a day. Too much vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful but mega-doses can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and heartburn.

So make sure you get all your vitamins on a daily basis in order to stay…Fit Forlife!



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