Surely, from an early age you have heard about the importance of vitamin consumption for our body. Thus, vitamin C is one of the main ones to be ingested . On this occasion, we will talk to you in detail about vitamin C and its benefits, so that you know a little more about the importance of its consumption for our body.
What is vitamin C?
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the nutrients most needed by the human body. This is due to all the beneficial properties that it brings to our body, characterized by being an excellent antioxidant.
In addition, this vitamin has the particularity of being able to dissolve in water, which makes it quite easy to ingest. It should be noted that in the case of plants, they have the characteristic of producing this vitamin by themselves.
Vitamin C came to acquire great importance in the diet in the middle of the 16th century. Since, through some studies carried out by Dr. James Lind, it was determined that acidic fruits were capable of fighting the symptoms presented by scurvy.
It is because of the above, that after ascorbic acid or vitamin C was subjected to different types of studies, it could be established almost in the mid-1930s that this component worked as an antiscorbutic agent par excellence.
Synthesis of vitamin C
Humans and animals do not possess the ability to perform the synthesis of vitamin C some species . However, most mammals have the ability to synthesize this vitamin naturally in the liver.
In the case of humans, the expulsion of the waste of this component is carried out by the body through urine. In addition, this vitamin has the characteristic of being able to dissolve easily in water, which makes its intake much easier.
It should be noted that both for humans, as well as for animals and plants, the consumption of vitamin C is of vital importance. This is because in the species just mentioned, vitamin C plays an important role. Here are some of its main characteristics:
- Contributes to the repair and regeneration processes of the skin.
- It is believed that it can prevent premature aging from occurring.
- Helps the proper functioning of the metabolic processes of lipoproteins.
- It prevents different types of diseases, among them mainly scurvy.
- It is considered an antioxidant for the body par excellence.
In the case of plants, they have the peculiarity of producing vitamin C by themselves. This is of great importance so that some processes can be carried out. Among them we can mention:
- It has an important role in the functioning of enzymes .
- As with humans and animals, with plants it also works as an antioxidant.
- It helps to keep the cell growth process balanced and stable in plants.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C has the facility to be found in a multitude of foods . And, despite the fact that when we talk about vitamin C, the first thing that comes to mind for many is oranges or orange juice or their derivatives, there are many more sources rich in vitamin C. We can mention some examples:
- The Kiwi
- The guava
- The oranges
- The spinach
Supplements or synthetic ways to get this vitamin
In a balanced diet, the recommended dose of vitamin C is usually more than enough. However, there are people who for various reasons require the use of supplements. Among some of these food supplements with vitamin C, we can find the following:
- Tablets or tablets with vitamin C.
- Different types of gel with this complement.
- Energy bars.
Although it is not bad to accompany the diet with any of these supplements just mentioned, the usual thing is that they are used by high-performance athletes who need a greater contribution. However, there are also cases where it is not possible to acquire the necessary amounts of vitamin C daily in the diet , and therefore it is always better to resort to the extra help of these supplements.
Benefits of vitamin C
On the skin
There are many benefits that the use of vitamin C on the skin brings. That is why this vitamin is often used to counteract burns produced after exposure to the sun for long periods of time. For this reason, the vitamin C present in the ingredients of some sunscreens can be seen.
On the other hand, as mentioned at the beginning, vitamin C is also characterized by contributing to the healing process and skin regeneration. This leads to it being present in a considerable amount of lotions and skin creams.
In the body
As for the functions of the body, there are various benefits that vitamin C can bring. That is why, below, we will talk about the different positive functions that vitamin C is responsible for fulfilling on the skin.
Combat stress and reduce headache symptoms
Among one of them can be found mainly the fact that it can help combat stress , as well as alleviate the effects produced by headaches. All this is because vitamin C can help reduce the cortisol produced in the body .
Has benefits on the heart system and hypertension
It is believed that including around 500 mg of vitamin C in the diet can generate similar effects at the heart level as those that could appear from playing sports. Likewise, it is also said that this amount of vitamin C can also contribute to the reduction of hypertension levels, thus being very beneficial for hypertensive patients.
What are its main functions?
As seen previously, vitamin C fulfills a large number of functions in the body. This is due to all the properties that it possesses, especially for its antioxidant effect that is so necessary for the body. Among some of the main functions that vitamin C fulfills we can find the following:
- Strengthens the immune system .
- It is an antiscorbutic par excellence.
- It allows the intestine to absorb iron in a better way.
- It influences the process of nutrition and skin regeneration.
- Helps prevent some eye diseases, such as cataracts.
- It fulfills some antibacterial functions.
- It plays an important role in both skin and bone regeneration and repair.
As can be seen, vitamin C fulfills a series of functions in the body that turn out to be of great importance to it. That is why including the recommended daily doses of it in the diet turns out to be so important.
Recommended dose of vitamin C
Despite the fact that much has been said about what the recommended dose of vitamin C to ingest daily could be, we will take as a reference the figures provided by the WHO (world health organization). Thus, according to the WHO , it is advisable to include in the daily diet around 90 mg for men and 75 for women .
However, there are various sources where it is said that the amount of vitamin C to ingest per day may be less, recommending from 10, up to 20 and 40 mg per day. However, it is best to take the WHO figures as a direct reference, in order to avoid suffering the consequences that may arise from a deficiency of vitamin C in the body.
Likewise, you should not overdo it with the consumption of this vitamin, since both in small and large quantities, negative health consequences can arise. Although, as we explained previously, in the case of athletes the doses of vitamin C to ingest are usually considerably higher. This is because intensive training requires it that way.
In addition, in the case of constant smokers, as well as people who suffer from certain types of conditions, it is also necessary to implement higher amounts of vitamin C. It should be noted that also during the pregnancy period, as well as in breastfeeding, it is usually recommended to ingest larger amounts daily.
However, for all of the above, it is best to go to a health professional, who can evaluate each case individually and indicate the recommended doses to ingest daily.
Importance of vitamin C consumption
In view of all the functions that vitamin C fulfills in our body, there is no doubt that the importance of its consumption is quite high. That is why, if you want to maintain a healthy physical appearance, as well as contribute to the proper functioning of our body, it is advisable to eat a balanced diet consuming the necessary vitamin C.
Although enough has already been said about all the benefits and functions that vitamin C brings to the body, below we will mention some other functions it fulfills. In this way, you will be able to know in greater depth about the great importance of the consumption of this vitamin for our body.
- It contributes to the detoxification of the body, as it helps to release waste and toxins from it.
- Its antioxidant properties mean that it can inhibit free radicals produced by the body.
- Due to its properties, it can positively influence the improvement of eyesight.
- It plays a transcendental role both for the production, as well as for the formation of collagen.
Its use for therapeutic purposes
Due to all the properties and characteristics that vitamin C has , it has been used for many years to reinforce different types of therapeutic treatments . Although at first its use was mainly focused on fighting scurvy, with the passage of time it expanded. Thus…
- Helps relieve some symptoms caused by type 2 diabetes .
- Its consumption is essential to avoid the appearance of scurvy. This is why vitamin C is often considered an essential antiscorbutic.
- Helps prevent the onset of arterial and vascular diseases.
- It is used to relieve some symptoms caused by menopause . This is because vitamin C allows for a significant increase in estrogen during this period.
- It is used in some cases to treat the symptoms of allergies mainly caused by sinusitis .
- It is also often used to relieve symptoms caused by asthma .
- Due to its properties that benefit the immune system, as well as its ability to remove nitrates from the body, vitamin C is also used as a supplement in some types of cancer treatments
- It is sometimes used to improve digestive functions. This is because vitamin C is believed to have some characteristics that work as laxatives.
- It is used for aesthetic purposes due to the nutrients it has.
- It has also been used to treat skin conditions mainly related to burns.
As can be seen, there are many functions that vitamin C fulfills to contribute to the improvement of health. For this reason, more and more therapeutic purposes are usually associated with it.
Vitamin C as an antioxidant
When talking about vitamin C and all its benefits, the main quality that must be highlighted is its antioxidant function . And it is that, food sources with antioxidant properties play a vital role for our body.
This is because antioxidants help fight free radicals that the body itself produces. Thus, among some of the functions that antioxidants have for the body, we can find the following:
- Avoid modifications both in cells and in DNA produced by free radicals.
- Prevent the symptoms of premature aging.
- Regulate the amount of free radicals in the body, being able to inhibit the effect of a large number of them.
In this way, it is necessary for the body to acquire the necessary amounts of antioxidants for its proper functioning. Best of all, vitamin C is among one of the main sources of antioxidants.
Adverse effects from excess vitamin C
As mentioned, in some cases the recommended doses of vitamin C tend to be higher than normal. However, excesses tend to have negative consequences. This is why, first of all, the ideal is to consult a health professional, in case of requiring higher doses of vitamin C than those normally recommended.
Although suffering from vitamin C poisoning is not something that happens very often , since the doses for it to be toxic must exceed 2000 mg a day, there are cases where it has happened. In the worst cases there have been some conditions, among them we can highlight.
- Presence of diarrhea, as well as gastric and intestinal problems.
- Kidney stones
- Sleeping problems.
- Anemia, produced by the collagen deficiency.
- In some cases, vomiting and nausea may also occur.
Diseases caused by vitamin C deficiency
One of the main diseases that usually appear due to vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. However, there are also other types of conditions that can occur due to lack of the necessary dose of this component. We can mention:
- Skin hemorrhages that can vary in size.
- Gum problems
- Alteration of the follicles.
- Problems related to dry skin.
Although vitamin C deficiency is usually caused by various reasons, it is mainly associated with eating an unhealthy and balanced diet . That is why, as we previously recommended, it is best to choose to include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your diet.
And it is that, although the deficit of this vitamin can vary and bring with it different consequences, in the worst case it could end up causing death.
Remember to include the proper dose of vitamin C in your diet
As has been observed, eating a balanced diet rich in vitamin C can bring a large number of health benefits. That is why it is recommended to implement various fruits and vegetables in the daily diet so that, in this way, the recommended daily doses of this vitamin can be ingested.
Also, in case you need to implement larger amounts of vitamin C in your diet , go to a health specialist . In this way, you will be able to know the dose indicated for you, and you will avoid suffering the negative consequences caused by both the deficit and the excess of this vitamin.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.