Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin important in the body for growth and development. Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and any excess leaves the body in the urine. Since it readily leaves the body, you need a continuos supply to maintain adequate levels in the body.

Function of vitamin C in the body:
Growth and repair of tissues: heal wounds; form an important protein to grow skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels; maintain and repair damage in cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Antioxidant: one of the important vitamins to block damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals may play a role in the development of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

Remedy for the common cold?
Research has shown mixed results with supplementing vitamin C to prevent the common cold. What is known – taking a vitamin C supplement after a cold starts has no benefit in terms of shortening the duration or relieving symptoms.

Food sources of Vitamin C:
Fruit: cantaloupe, citrus, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, berries, watermelon
Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, leafy greens, potatoes, tomatoes, squash
Fortified foods such as cereals and beverages

Vitamin C deficiency symptoms: bleeding gums, anemia, suppressed immune system, weak hair, nosebleeds, irritated skin, painful joints. Scurvy is a severe form of Vitamin C deficiency.

Recommended Intake:
Men age 19 and older: 90 mg/day
Women age 19 and older: 75 mg/day
Smokers or those around second hand smoke should increase their intake of vitamin C an additional 35 mg per day.

Eat a balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables to get the daily requirement of vitamin C.

See previous vitamin posts:
Vitamin A
The B Vitamins

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