Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate
The body is not able to make vitamin C on its
own, and it does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include
plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.
Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to protect our bodies from damage, is involved in the growth of our bones, tendons, ligaments and skin and increases the absorption of iron from our foods (particularly from vegetarian sources).
Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:
Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
Heal wounds and form scar tissue
Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth
Aid in the absorption of iron
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process.
Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.
Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism . Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing. Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E)
Vitamin C makes the headlines when it comes to cancer prevention. Its antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation. It supports the body's immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body. Vitamin C reduces the risk of getting almost all types of cancer. It appears that this nutrient doesn't directly attack cancer that has already occurred, but it helps keep the immune system nourished, enabling it to battle the cancer.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts -- the clouding of the lens of the eye that can lead to blindness in older adults. The lens needs a lot of vitamin C to counteract all the free radicals that form as a result of sunlight on the eye. Vitamin C is concentrated in the lens. When there's plenty of this vitamin floating through your system, it's easy for the body to pull it out of your blood and put it into the lens, protecting it from damage. It's possible that 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C might stop cataracts in their tracks and possibly improve vision.
As with the other antioxidants, vitamin C helps to prevent heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging artery walls, which could lead to plaque formation. This nutrient also keeps cholesterol in the bloodstream from oxidizing, another early step in the progression towards heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C may help people who have marginal vitamin C status to obtain favorable blood cholesterol levels. High blood pressure may also improve in the presence of this wonder vitamin. All these factors combined make vitamin C an inexpensive and easy way to lower one's risk of heart disease and strokes.
Asthmatics tend to have higher needs for vitamin C because of its antioxidant function in the lungs and airways. Doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day improve asthmatic symptoms and lessen the body's production of histamine, which contributes to inflammation.
People with diabetes can benefit from extra vitamin C, too. This nutrient can help regulate blood sugar levels. Since insulin helps vitamin C, as well as glucose, get into cells, people with diabetes may not have enough vitamin C inside many of their cells. Just like glucose, vitamin C can't do its work if it's not inside of a cell. Supplementing vitamin C can force it into body cells, where it can protect against the many complications of diabetes.
It is generally well tolerated.Large doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin. Normal doses are safe during pregnancy.