Vitamin C Foods- This article is dedicated to Vitamin C Foods and benefits of Vitamin C.
It is also known as L-ascorbic acid. It is originated from two words “A- meaning no” and second part ascorbic from “scorbutus (scurvy)” – named due to the disease Scurvy caused by the deficiency of vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is easily dissolved in water. It is found naturally in food and is also available in the form of supplements. Humans are unable to synthesize this vitamin so it must be supplied to the body through diet or in severe cases through supplements.
Synonyms of Vitamin C
- 1 Synonyms of Vitamin C
- 2 Sources of Vitamin C: Vitamin C Foods List:
- 3 Vitamin C Functions:
- 4 Vitamin C Deficiency:
- 5 What is scurvy?
- 6 How vitamin C provides you energy?
- Ascorbic acid
- Calcium ascorbate
- Sodium ascorbate
- L-ascorbic acid
Sources of Vitamin C: Vitamin C Foods List:
The main (Vitamin C Foods) sources of Vitamin C are plant sources. The richest sources are citrus fruits. Foods enrich in vitamin C are listed below:
- Oranges (orange juice)
- Lemon (lemon juice)
- Tomatoes (tomato juice)
- Red chilli
- Green chilli
- Bell pepper
- Black currant
- Green peas
- Cran berries
- Apple peel
- Granny smith apple (peel)
- Milk (small amount)
- Coriander leaf
- Modified milk powder
- Condensed whole milk
- Skimmed milk powder
- Green turnip
Vitamin C Functions:
Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here I have mentioned some major Vitamin C Functions.
· Maintenance of connective tissue:
It plays an important role in the maintenance of connective tissue health in the body. It is useful in the collagen synthesis, which has a major role in wound healing.
· Synthesize neurotransmitters:
It also synthesizes some neurotransmitters such as L-carnitine which is a short chain ester and has the beneficial effect on muscle and brain health and is used in the treatment of depression.
· Vitamin C- antioxidant:
It is one of the major antioxidants and plays important role in the prevention of cancer. As an antioxidant, it reduces the damaging effects of free radicals. Read here about Sources of Vitamin E.
· Role of Vitamin C in the immune system
It improves the immune system as it supports:
- Production of interferons
- Function of phagocytes
- Cytokine production by white blood cells
- Cell-mediated immune responses
- Nitric oxide production by phagocytes
- T-lymphocyte proliferation
- B-lymphocyte proliferation
- Antibody production and complement activity
- Cell activity of natural killer cells
- Prostaglandin formation
- Cyclic GMP levels in lymphocytes
- Detoxification of histamine
- Neutralization of oxidative stress
- Immune response to vaccination
- Mucolytic effect
- Function of antibiotics
· Role in CVD:
It prevents Cardiovascular diseases.
· Good skin:
It is useful for maintaining the good and healthy skin.
· Vitamin C helps in iron absorption:
It also improves the absorption of nonheme iron (found in vegetables, fruits, beans, grains etc)
· Maintain bones health:
The adrenal steroid hormone is formed through vitamin C which maintains bone health after menopause when ovaries stopped production of hormones or after surgical removal of ovaries
· Helps in the absorption of calcium & Vitamin D:
It enhances Calcium and Vit D absorption and stimulates cells that build up bones
· Role in tissue growth
It supports tissue growth and repair to maintain the healthy life.
· Vitamin C helps in anti-aging:
It also acts as anti-aging because it prevents the formation of free radicals.
· Wound healing:
It helps in the healing of wounds.
· Forms tendons & ligaments:
The body uses vitamin C in the formation of tendon, ligaments, and skin
· Maintain healthy teeth:
It also helps to maintain teeth and their formation
· Vitamin C Prevents cataracts:
It is also used to treat muscle degeneration and cataracts along with other beta carotenes, Vit E and zinc supplements
· Prevents vision loss:
It reduces Age-related vision loss along with beta-carotene, zinc, and Vit E. Read here about Sources of Vitamin E.
· Prevents hardening of arteries and helps avoid cardiac diseases:
It reduces the risk of hardening of arteries
· Prevents protein loss:
It reduces protein (albuminuria) in urine along with vitamin E
· Use in fractures:
Taking Vit C after any fracture (wrist fracture) reduces the pain
· Prevents redness of the skin:
Using Vitamin C containing skin creams reduces the redness (erythema) after laser use for wrinkle and scar removing
· Prevents hemolysis:
Hemolytic anemia (abnormal breaking of red blood cells) can be treated or improved through vit C
· Vitamin C prevents stomach ulcers:
Side effects of ulcers caused by H.Pylori in the stomach can be decreased by using Vit C. It decreases the risk of cancerous lesions in the stomach
· Use after dialysis:
It has been observed that consuming vit C before and after dialysis reduces the chances of ascorbate deficiency in these patients
· Treatment of tyrosinemia with Vitamin C:
Tyrosinemia- high blood levels of tyrosine (a genetic disorder in newborns) can be likely treated with Vit C
· Prevents gallbladder disease:
In females Vit C can likely treat gallbladder diseases, however, in men, there is no effect
· Inhibits histamine:
It also inhibits histamine that is released during allergic reactions
· Helps in folic acid metabolism:
It helps in folic acid metabolism.
· Act as a cofactor:
It is a cofactor of proto collagen hydroxylase, which is important for connective tissue proteins such as cartilage, dentin, and bone
· Oxidation of proline:
It is responsible for the oxidation of proline and lysine into hydroxy-proline and hydroxy-lysine
· Act as prophylactic:
It acts as prophylactic against neurolathyrism
· Vitamin C reduces uric acid levels:
It reduces uric acid in the blood and as a result, provides protection against gout attacks.
Vitamin C Deficiency:
Vitamin C Deficiency can cause major issues.
The deficiency of vitamin C or lack of vitamin C in your body can be caused by following risk factors.
Risk factors for Vitamin C Deficiency: Vitamin C Deficiency Causes:
- Poor diet
- Diet high in meat and low in fruits and vegetables
- Alcohol consumption
- Mental illness
- Cigarette smoking
- Tobacco consumption
- Beverages intake
- People who eat fast food
- Celiac disease (the immune reaction to eating gluten-containing diets and the intestinal lining is destroyed)
- Ulcerative colitis (long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract)
- Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Pregnant and lactating mothers. Here is the guide about Vitamin B12 Foods.
Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms:
The early signs or symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are:
- Weakness and tiredness
- One feels Lethargic
- Easily bruising of wounds
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Inflammation of gums (gingivitis)
- Bleeding through nose
- Prolonged period in wound healing
- Dry and scaly skin
- Red spots on skin
- Dry hair
- Hair can easily be pulled out
- Splitting ends of hair
- Swollen and painful joints
- Weak immune system
- High blood pressure
- Arteriosclerosis or Atherosclerosis
- Diseases of gallbladder
- Radicals formations
- Wrinkles on skin
- Repeated common cold
Complication due to deficiency of vitamin c:
If the deficiency of Vit C is not treated it leads towards Scurvy
What is scurvy?
“ Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin C. It is characterized by bleeding and spongy gums, loss of teeth and bleeding under the mucous membrane or skin.” The following picture shows scurvy teeth and bleeding of gums. Read here about Sources of Vitamin A.
How vitamin C provides you energy?
As it is a micronutrient so it does not give the high amount of energy. As a vitamin, it is required in minute amounts but plays the significant and important role in strengthening the bones. It incorporates calcium into Bone Tissue.
It helps in the formation and maintenance of good quality and high-density bone material which requires vitamin C as a precursor and a major component. Vitamin C initial assimilation of calcium into the bone and also serve as a protective micronutrient in preventing leaching of calcium out of bones and help in the fight the oxidative stress that works against assimilation. Read here about Rich Sources of Iron.
In nourishing the bones it performs other functions too, some of which are listed below
Vitamin C stimulates the formation of the cells (osteoblasts) which incorporate calcium into bone tissue (osteoblasts).
To maintain the adequate amount of calcium in bones for its strength and density Vitamin C inhibits the development of cells that dissolve calcium out of bone tissues (osteoclasts).
About the author:
My name is Sabahat Khalid and I am doing BS in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. In this article, I have given detail about vitamin C.
‘’To eat is the necessity but to eat intelligently is an art’’
The reason for writing this article is to generate awareness among people about Vitamin c. It is a vitamin that your body needs to form vessels, cartilage, muscles and collagen and aids in the healing process. As an antioxidant, it should be used for the prevention of cancer. So vitamin C rich foods must be added to your diet for maintaining health.
Team Nutrition Lab