Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. These vitamins need to be ingested daily to keep up adequate amounts. Humans are unable to synthesize Vitamin C so it is essential to add it to the diet on a daily basis. Vitamin C chemically decomposes during the cooking of food and prolonged storage so it is important to add it as a supplement. Vitamin C is essential to a healthy diet as well as being a highly effective antioxidant.
The richest natural sources are fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement and is available as tablets, capsules, drink mixes, in multi-vitamin formulations, in multiple antioxidant formulations, and as a crystalline powder. Timed release versions are available, (I recommend the sustained version) as are formulations containing bioflavonoids such as quercetin, hesperidin, and rutin. I recommend a more natural complete version of Vitamin C where the bioflavonoids are not removed so, therefore, don’t need to be added back in. Brands differ in quality and in the ability of vitamins to be absorbed by the body. Do your homework.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including vitamin E. In addition to its biosynthetic and antioxidant functions, Vitamin C plays an important role in the immune function of leukocytes (white blood cells) and improves the absorption of iron.
The benefits of Vitamin C are that it acts as an electron donor for eight different enzymes. Three enzymes are used to synthesize collagen an essential component of connective tissue. Vitamin C is essential to the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage playing a vital role in wound healing. Two enzymes are necessary for the synthesis of carnitine which is essential for the transport of fatty acids into mitochondria for ATP generation. The remaining three enzymes participate in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters. During biosynthesis Vitamin C acts as a reducing agent, donating electrons and preventing oxidation.
Vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism. Vitamin C is needed for adrenal glands, pituitary gland, brain. thymus, spleen, lung, testicle, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney, and salivary glands, corpus luteum, and retina.
Vitamin C benefits by helping to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against cardiovascular disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Research indicates that Vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals and has been used as a cancer treatment. Supplemental Vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold, help delay or prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and support healthy immune function. Vitamin C studies show that it can lengthen lifespan, and help with decreasing chronic diseases.
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, and leg rashes. Prolonged deficiency can cause scurvy, a now rare but potentially severe illness. People who are smokers and also people who are exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk of not having enough Vitamin C. Also people with limited food variety, or malabsorption, certain chronic diseases, and infants fed evaporated or boiled milk will need to add extra Vitamin C.
Recommendation: Add Vitamin C daily and feel the difference in your health with the benefits of Vitamin C.