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About Nutrition
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Vitamin C - ascorbic acid

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid or ascorbate is an essential water-soluble nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress.

It is a cofactor for at least eight enzymatic reactions in collagen synthesis that, when dysfunctional, cause scurvy. These reactions are important in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries.


Some excellent sources of vitamin C are oranges, green and red peppers, many fruits are rich in vitamin C watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, kiwi, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with vitamin C.

Turnip greens, spinach, potatoes, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapple are also rich sources of vitamin C. Here is a list of foods with the highest content of vitamin C.

Daily intake

The recommended daily intake is 90 milligrams. No more than 2 grams should be taken daily.


Vitamin C deficiency is rare in the Western world. Too little vitamin C can lead to scurvy caused mainly by defects in collagen synthesis.

The signs and symptoms include anemia, bleeding gums, decreased ability to fight infection, decreased wound-healing rate, dry and splitting hair, easy bruising, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), nosebleeds, possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism, rough, dry, scaly skin, swollen and painful joints, and weakened tooth enamel.

The human body have limited stores of vitamin C. Therefore, scurvy can develop within months if the diet is free of vitamin C. Chronic long term low blood levels of vitamin C ("chronic scurvy") can cause atherosclerosis.


Vitamin C is water soluble, with dietary excesses not being absorbed, and excesses in the blood rapidly being excreted in the urine. It exhibits remarkably low toxicity.

Doses of about 6 grams per day may lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flushing of the face, skin rashes, headache, fatigue and disturbed sleep.

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4

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