All About Vitamin C – and what it can do for you…
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – is an essential water-soluble vitamin.
If you’d like an in-depth video, please watch this! Or read on below.
Even the ancient Chinese, Babylonian, Greek, Roman and later European sailors recognized that fresh fruit and/or vegetables could prevent Scurvy, a hideous illness characterized by progressive bruising, bleeding gums, loss of teeth and hair, and general inflammation and weakening of the tissues, eventually leading to death.
It wasn’t until the 1030s, that Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered the Vitamin C molecule as being responsible for scurvy prevention and treatment.
Is there still Vitamin C deficiency?
You may think that in our abundant world Vitamin C deficiency is no longer a problem, but this is not true. Although outright scurvy is rare and seldom occurs outside of famine or war zones, a subclinical vitamin C deficiency, which can manifest as fatigue, feeling “icky” or getting frequent colds, is common in our seniors (because with age the absorption and use of Vitamin C is slower) as well in picky eaters (kids??!!) and people eating a very one-sided diet, especially if it consists of processed foods only, devoid of fruit and vegetables.
Want to make your own sugar-free jam? Check out my favorite recipe!
What do we need Vitamin C for?
Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, which is a structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, joints, bone and skin. Most people will also know that it is essential for our Immune system and a potent antioxidant. It is lesser known, though, that Vitamin C also is essential for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine – and so can influence brain function and mood – as well in the production of carnitine, which is needed for energy-generation by our cellular power-plants, the mitochondria. It also plays a role in the transformation of cholesterol to bile salts as well as inhibits the production of cancer-causing chemicals in the stomach (That’s why you should eat a fresh salad with sweet peppers (which are high in Vitamin C) with your grilled meat.)
In the last 30 years the nutrient content of food generally has decreased due to depletion of soil minerals and micro-organisms and a sometimes very long “shelf life”, storage time, of fresh fruits and vegetables before they get to the table.
It is interesting to note that most animals can make their own Vitamin C as they need it, but we humans cannot do this and so need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables to stay well and increase our dietary intake of Vitamin C in times of greater need.
Vitamin C is used widely as supplements to prevent and/or treat multiple health concerns. For most adults, an intake of 500 mg up to 2ooo mg per day is considered safe.
For questions about your individual health needs, please contact DocChristine or your physician or other health care provider for advice!