Greater immunity of the body, anti-cancer effect, improvement of the appearance and condition of the skin … This is only a substitute for the action of ascorbic acid – a popular vitamin C – in the body. What other properties does vitamin C have? In what products will we find it? What are the consequences of deficiency of this vitamin? Answers to these questions – and much more – you will find right here!
Vitamins for boys and girls
Vitamin C probably doesn’t need to be introduced to anyone. Almost everyone remembers it from childhood. Especially in winter, when we had much weaker immunity. We have not yet realized the importance of proper functioning of the body. Ascorbic acid participates in many processes. Among other things, it is necessary during the formation of connective tissue and is involved in the metabolism of lipids. What’s more, it prevents ischemic heart disease. Vitamin C also affects the production of collagen. This, on the other hand, ensures faster healing of wounds, fractures or bruises (also bleeding during injuries is smaller).
As we have already mentioned, ascorbic acid is mainly associated with beneficial effects on the body’s immunity. It is not enough to prevent colds. However, if we fall ill – the disease is much milder. In addition, vitamin C protects the heart and nervous system.
Vitamin C, what is it, really?
What is the role of vitamin C in the body? Unfortunately, this question does not have a short answer. Ascorbic acid is primarily one of the basic antioxidants. This means that it destroys free radicals responsible for cancer. For example, it has a preventive effect against colon cancer, and stomach or esophagus cancers. It is also used as an iron and calcium absorption assistant. Another feature is its use in the case of difficulty with wound healing, hemorrhages or pressure ulcers. Vitamin C is also a guard against damage to the nervous system (primarily the brain). Thus, it reduces the risk of developing diseases such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s.
Vitamin C – where will we find it?
The main source of ascorbic acid are fresh vegetables and fruits. The largest doses of this vitamin can be found in:
– green and yellow vegetables (eg kohlrabi, spinach, peas)
– brassicas (eg brussels sprouts, broccoli)
– fruits (eg blackberries, wild strawberries, citrus, currant).
What are the deficiencies of ascorbic acid manifesting?
One of the most serious diseases resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C in the body is scurvy. It manifests itself in the destruction of bone tissue and connective tissue. Nowadays, however, it is a very rare disease. In children, however, Moeller-Barlow’s disease may occur. It results in bone deformation and anemia.
Vitamin C deficiencies are also a greater risk of disorders in the formation of collagen. Thus, the body becomes more susceptible to fractures. What’s more, existing wounds or injuries heal much slower. In addition, insufficient amount of this acid in the body has an impact on the appearance of disorders in the transformation of fatty acids. It is also responsible for reducing the strength of the capillaries. As a result of deficiency, we may notice the appearance of bruises, ecchymosis, inflammation and pain in the gums, weakness of the body, pain in the joints and muscles or osteoporosis. There is also loss of appetite, susceptibility to depression or neurological disorders.
High probability of vitamin C deficiency is observed among smokers, alcohol drinkers and seniors.
Daily intake of vitamin C for specific age groups
Children 1-3 years: 40 mg / day
Children 4-8 years: 65 mg / d
Children 9-13 years: 120 mg / d
Children 14-18 years old: 180 mg / d
Adults over 18 years of age: 200 mg / d
Women during pregnancy and lactation: 180 mg / d
People suffering from hypertension, diabetes, chronic stress, smokers and those exposed to fumes and pollutants should take higher doses of ascorbic acid. It is worth remembering that the correct doses of vitamin C vary depending on the researchers. So let’s use the services of a dietitian to determine the right amount in our diet.
The effects of excessive consumption of vitamin C
As surplus ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine – the risk of “overdosing” is low. Nevertheless, there may be inter alia damage in tooth enamel, heartburn, abdominal pain or laxative effects.