What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think about citrus fruits? What acts as a food preservative? What keeps your skin oil-free? What fights against the acidity in your body? It is Vitamin C. Also known as ‘Ascorbic Acid’, it forms an important and essential nutrient of the body because it helps in the growth and repair of bones and forms the enzymes which are responsible in regulating the chemical processes in the body.

What is the role of Vitamin C in your body?

Unlike other vitamins and minerals, Vitamin C is soluble in water. Hence, this is the reason why it cannot be stored in the body and requires regular replenishment. It is a powerful antioxidant. It prevents the body from damage from the toxic pollutants and smoke. It boosts the immune system of the body and increases the White Blood Cell count and regulates the autoimmune responses. Collagen, which is a tissue that is healthy for teeth, gums, blood vessels and bones are made with the help of Vitamin C. It lowers the level of cholesterol and the risk of cancer. It is natural laxative and hence improves the regulation of the glucose levels in the blood.

How much of Vitamin C is enough for your body?

Vitamin C is essential for your body and hence must be consumed in the right quantity. Generally men should consume about 90 milligrams of Vitamin C in a day whereas women should consume about 75 milligrams per day. As Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, smokers should consume an addition of 35 milligrams to the mentioned numbers. Vitamin C for a normal human body is anywhere between 40 milligrams -1000 milligrams.

How does lack of Vitamin C affect your body?

Vitamin C is necessary for the body as it looks after the systematised functioning of heart as well as other parts of the body. A person with Vitamin C deficiency tends to get tired easily. The mood of the person changes constantly, the person loses weight, pain in the joints and the muscles increase with problems of dental conditions, dry hair and skin etc.

What are the natural sources of Vitamin C?

The rich sources of Vitamin C are the citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, etc. Also Vitamin C is sufficiently found in green and red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, parsley, broccoli, potatoes, bananas and carrots. Meat, especially the liver and oysters contain Vitamin C. It is also present in milk and spinach.

When should Vitamin C supplement be consumed?

If one does not consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, dietary supplements becomes essential. However, if the daily intake of Vitamin C is less than 40 milligrams, there arises a need for a dietary supplement. These supplements should not be consumed in large quantities as it may irritate the stomach.

How is pregnancy affected by the lack of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C keeps the immune system strong and may lead to certain negative effects on pregnancy and the developing baby if consumed in excess. Care must be taken while consuming Vitamin C during pregnancy. Certain foods rich in Vitamin C may cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort, cramping and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea leads to dehydration which in turn may result in the decrease of the amniotic fluid level that may pose a threat to the baby’s life.

Is it necessary to consume a multi-vitamin along with Vitamin C?

In case of deficiency of Vitamins and nutrients, multi-vitamins play a significant role. However it is not necessary to consume multi-vitamins with Vitamin C, if there is enough in your body. It is helpful for the body because it improves physical and mental condition, reduces stress, and prevents the deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals.

What are the diseases that are caused due to lack of Vitamin C?

The diseases are:

  • Cancer: As it is an antioxidant, it provides beneficial nutrients to the body and prevents breast cancer and skin cancer.

  • Heart Disease: Vitamin C lowers the level of cholesterol and prevents the arteries from damage. However insufficient amount of Vitamin C may lead to heart stroke or arteriosclerosis.

  • Osteoarthritis: Collagen is made out of Vitamin C. It is a part of the normal cartilage that helps in maintaining healthy bones and joints. However, when cartilage exerts a pressure on the bones and joints, it gets destroyed and results in Osteoarthritis.

  • Scurvy: It is caused due to insufficient intake of Vitamin C. the common symptoms are appetite loss, diarrhoea, rapid breathing, fever, swelling of bones, bleeding, etc.

  • High Blood Pressure: Lack of Vitamin C leads to imbalanced sympathetic nerves that leads to feelings of anger, irritation and anxiety.

Bleeding gums


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