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Vitamin C Function In The Body

What Is Vitamin C

Vitamin C: Metabolism and Function

Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient. That means your body doesn’t make it, so you have to get it through diet or supplements. Vitamin C is in many foods, such as oranges, red and green peppers, and kiwi.

Research has confirmed some general health benefits of vitamin C. When it comes to using it as a treatment or preventive measure for specific conditions, though, many of the studies have been inconclusive or found no benefit.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement that has been tested by a third party, such as USP , Consumer Labs, or NSF International.

However, even if supplements are third-party tested, they are not safe for all or effective in general. Therefore, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and check-in about potential interactions with other supplements or medications.

Let Him Who Has Ears To Hear Hear

Answering objections to the new translation of the Novus Ordo.

Is the new translation approved by Rome and by the American bishops a perfect one? No, it is not. No translation can be. I have some quibbles with it. A few sentences are clunky. But thats a good exchange, seeing that almost all of the old pseudo-translation was fl at, banal, and desacralized. Much of it was awkward, to boot.

But here is not the place for quibbles, for I am grateful to the translators. For the fi rst time in my life I have heard some strains, though subtle and unadorned, of the poetry and oratory of the Novus Ordo. Entire lessons in theology, deep and careful readings of the Scriptures, and eloquent gestures of humility and devotion have suddenly appeared to my eye.

Blessed are they who are called to the supper of the Lamb, we will now say, exactly as the words say in Latin, uniting Passover and the wedding feast of Revelation. The mystery of faith, the priest will say, with stark simplicity, exactly as in the Latin, and referring to what has just transpired, the consecration of the bread and wine, and not to whatever the people will say in response.

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Or compare the resumption of the most commonly used Eucharistic Prayer in its old form with the subtly elevated prayer of the new:

Here it is now in translation:

What Foods Contain Vitamin C

We can find vitamin C in a variety of foods, but some of its richest sources include:

Usually, meat and fish dont have much vitamin C, but kidney and liver are two good animal sources of this vitamin.

Some herbs and spices are also rich in vitamin C however, they dont really increase our intake of this vitamin because we only eat them in very small amounts.

While vitamin C is particularly high in fruits and vegetables, the amount of this vitamin in plant foods varies depending on factors such as the plants growing conditions, type of soil, season of harvesting, transport and shelf time prior to use.

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Defining Ascorbic Acid Status

The requirements for vitamin C in humans are as follows: infants, 40 mg per day children , 1545 mg per day adolescence, 4565 mg per day adults , 7590 mg per day lactating mothers, 115120 mg per day. In keeping with these estimates, more recent clinical investigations have noted vitamin C deficiency in 26% of individuals surveyed . With regard to marginal vitamin C status based on plasma ascorbic acid values, e.g., < 20 g/dL, the prevalence ranges from 17 to 24% US. In this regard, smokers are more likely to have marginal vitamin C status compared to nonsmoking adults. Several studies suggest that smokers require over 200 mg vitamin C daily to maintain plasma vitamin C concentrations at a level equivalent to that of nonsmokers.

F.M. Steinberg, R.B. Rucker, in, 2013

Vitamin C Supplements Can Help Reduce The Appearance Of Sun Damage

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce the appearance of sun damage. When applied topically, vitamin C can help protect the skin from free radical damage, which can lead to premature aging. Vitamin C can also help stimulate collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

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Functions Of Vitamin C On Skin

3.9.1. Photoprotection

Vitamin C reduces the damage caused by UV-light exposure. It cannot act as a sunscreen since it cannot absorb UV light. But the antioxidant activity of vitamin C helps to protect UV damage caused by free radicals . In response to UV light, vitamin C transport proteins are increased, suggesting an increased need for vitamin C uptake for adequate protection . Addition of keratinocytes on vitamin C reduces damages caused by UV light and lipid peroxidation, limits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and protects against apoptosis . Many studies have suggested that vitamin C consumption alone will not reduce the effect of UV exposure however, a combination of vitamin C and E effectively increases minimal erythemal dose that will produce a detectable erythema 24 hours after UVR exposure) and decreases erythema-induced blood flow to damaged areas of skin . Thus, interactions between the two antioxidant vitamins may be necessary to achieve UV protection. The topical application of vitamin C also reduces the effect of UV exposure and skin wrinkling and skin tumour . Vitamin C reduced the number of sunburned cells, decreased erythema response and reduced DNA damage induced by UV exposure . The combination of antioxidant vitamins decreased the immunosuppressive effects of UV exposure, increased MED and decreased cell damage .

3.9.2. Wound healing

Antioxidant Role Of Vitamin C In Cns

The brain consumes 20% of the total body oxygen and has a high metabolic rate, making it a readily oxidizable tissue . These conditions justify the importance of the presence of antioxidants in the brain, which are needed to maintain the redox balance. The distribution of these antioxidants is not uniform since neurons can reach intracellular ascorbate concentrations of 10 mM and a glutathione concentration of 2.5 mM as opposed to what happens in glia where the concentration of ascorbate is 2.5 mM and the one of glutathione is 3.8 mM . The uneven distribution of ascorbate is due to the fact that SVCT2 is preferentially expressed in neurons while in astrocytes ascorbate concentrates through the intracellular reduction of DHA which enters the cell via GLUT1. The physiological significance of this unequal distribution is the supply of ascorbate to the neuron. An increase in the expression of mRNA related to the translation of SVCT2 in both neurons and astrocytes has been proven in rats with induced cerebral ischemia, probably as a cellular protective mechanism against oxidative stress induced by ischemia . Some researchers have studied the interaction of ascorbate with other antioxidants such as -tocopherol and gluthation as well as the possible therapeutic applications of this interaction, e.g., in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease .

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Role In Redox Balance

There is a constant balance between oxidants and antioxidants in the body that helps to maintain redox homeostasis. This means that when there is an increase the production of ROS, the body’s response will be to increase of the activity of endogenous antioxidant systems through a mechanism of redox signaling . In addition, antioxidants can be obtained from exogenous sources along with the endogenous antioxidant system, these exogenous antioxidants play an important role in maintaining the redox balance. The endogenous antioxidant systems comprise antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant molecules . Vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids are among the exogenous antioxidant molecules ingested in the diet. There are also molecules that function as metal chelators , avoiding the production of the hydroxyl radical through the Fenton and Haber-Weiss reaction . An increase in reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that exceeds the ability of the antioxidant system to counteract the increase of ROS leads to an oxidative stress state.

What Causes A Vitamin C Deficiency

Benefits Of Vitamin C And Food Sources

A deficiency occurs either from insufficient nutrient intake in the diet or increased losses due to poor absorption.

People who don’t consume various foods, mainly fruits and vegetables, are at greater risk of vitamin C deficiency. Smokers have a higher requirement for vitamin C, so smoking may also be a risk factor.

Additionally, people with malabsorption disorders may become deficient because they can’t absorb enough vitamin C.

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Deficiency Of Vitamin C

Deficiency of vitamin C in humans causes a major disease called scurvy. The major signs of the disease occur primarily in mesenchymal tissues. It leads to impaired wound healing oedema haemorrhage in the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs, and muscles and weakening of collagenous structures in bone, cartilage, teeth and connective tissues. Those who suffer from scurvy have swollen, bleeding gums with tooth loss. They also show lethargy, fatigue, rheumatic pains in the legs, muscular atrophy and skin lesions, massive sheet hematomas in the thighs, and ecchymoses and haemorrhages in many organs, including the intestines, sub-periosteal tissues and eyes. All these features are accompanied by psychological changes: hysteria, hypochondria and depression. In children, the syndrome is called Moeller-Barlow disease it is seen in non-breastfed infants usually at about 6 months of age and is characterized by widening of bone-cartilage boundaries, stressed epiphyseal cartilage of the extremities, severe joint pain and frequently, anaemia and fever. Children having this disease present with a limp or inability to walk, tenderness of the lower limbs, bleeding of the gums and petechial haemorrhages.

Figure 10.

Cyclic voltammogram of electrochemical sensing of ascorbic acid using a polyaniline-modified platinum electrode .

Dosage: How Much Vitamin C Should I Get

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage are appropriate for your individual needs.

For most healthy people, it is easy to get adequate amounts of vitamin C through food. You can meet your recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C each day by eating just one of the following:

Two important caveats to these recommendations are:

  • If you smoke, take an additional 35 milligrams per day.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with a vitamin C deficiency, you’ll need between 100 to 200 milligrams per day until a blood test shows normal levels.

Taking high doses may be appropriate for some people, but it usually provides no extra benefit. Your body controls how much vitamin C it absorbs.

That means it’ll take what it needs from food and supplements, and anything beyond that comes out in your urine. Taking 1,000 milligrams a day or more actually drops your absorption rate by about 50%.

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Tolerable Upper Intake Level

The âtolerable upper intake levelâ is stated to be 2 g/day for adults. However, many people receive more than that in clinical settings, without suffering from apparent side effects .

Patients with pneumonia have received up to 100 g/day of Vitamin C without developing diarrhea, because of the changes in Vitamin C metabolism caused by the infection .

We strongly recommend against taking such large doses of vitamin C without the express recommendation and supervision of a doctor.

When the daily dose was increased from 200 to 2,500 mg, blood concentration increased from approximately 12 to 15 mg/L due to kidney clearance. Hence why some state that there is no justification for megadoses of vitamin C in healthy individuals .

When Should I Pay Extra Attention To My Vitamin C Intake

Do you need more Vitamin C in your life? Vitamin C has many health ...

Vitamin C deficiency is not a risk for the general population since most people can get the recommended amounts of this vitamin from a varied and balanced diet.

Despite vitamin C being popularly linked with preventing or treating the common cold, healthy and well-nourished people dont seem to get any health benefits from having larger amounts of this vitamin from foods or supplements. The best way to keep the normal function of our immune system is to consistently meet the recommended amounts for all vitamins and minerals.

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Vitamin C Supplements Can Help Reduce The Appearance Of Wrinkles

There are many potential benefits to taking a vitamin C supplement, including reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the skin, as it helps to protect against damage from the sun and other environmental factors. It also helps to promote collagen production, which can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation

Combined evidence from metabolic, pharmacokinetic, and observational studies, and from randomized controlled trials supports consuming sufficient vitamin C to achieve plasma concentrations of at least 60 mol/L. While most generally healthy young adults can achieve these plasma concentrations with daily vitamin C intake of at least 200 mg/day, some individuals may have a lower vitamin C absorptive capacity than what is currently documented. Thus, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of 400 mg daily for adults to ensure replete tissue concentrations an amount substantially higher than the RDA yet with minimal risk of side effects.

This recommendation can be met through food if the diet includes at least several servings of vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables as part of the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake . Most multivitamin supplements provide at least 60 mg of vitamin C.

Older adults

Copyright 2000-2022 Linus Pauling Institute

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What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take vitamin C supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023

Why Is Vitamin C Important For Your Body

4 Impressive Ways Vitamin C Benefits Your Body

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is one of thirteen essential vitamins our bodies require to function and perform everyday tasks. It is mainly found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons etc. While most animals produce Vitamin C in their bodies, our bodies are not equipped to produce vitamin C so, we need to regularly take in vitamin C for our bodies to perform bodily functions.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is generally considered safe, but high doses can cause side effects. These may include:

Higher doses are more likely to lead to side effects. Doses over 2,000 milligrams a day may increase the risk of diarrhea and kidney stones. If you have a history of kidney stones, taking more than 1,000 milligrams a day may increase your chances of having more.

Does Vitamin C Interact With Other Nutrients

Vitamin C can help our bodies absorb more iron from plant-based foods which is less absorbed than iron from animal sources . This effect is also dependent on other factors like the iron levels in our bodies or the make-up of the meal . Nevertheless, get the best of this combination by matching iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C. For example, add raw peppers to your lentil salad or have a glass of orange juice with your fortified breakfast cereals!

Vitamin C and vitamin E often join forces in their antioxidant roles. When vitamin E neutralises a free radical, it loses its antioxidant properties, which can be regenerated with the help of vitamin C. Good levels of both these vitamins are particularly important for those who smoke, as they are more prone to form higher amounts of free radicals in the body.

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How Vitamin C Supports A Healthy Immune System

Reviewed March 2021

xamtiw/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Because your body cannot make vitamin C, it must come from the foods you eat every day.

Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin and cartilage a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.

Though it may not keep you from catching a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as one to one-and-a-half days for some people. However, other studies did not result in the same findings, and the risk of side effects is greater with high doses of vitamin C supplements, so check with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before taking.


Enhances Iron Absorption In The Gut

Vitamin C is involved in varied body functions

Sometimes nutrients are buddies and partner up to help each other. Such is the case with vitamin C and the essential mineral iron.

Vitamin C supports the solubility of iron in the small intestine, allowing more iron to be absorbed in the gut.* “Iron is a major mineral we require daily for DNA synthesis, immune function, and to ensure the health of red blood cells for oxygen delivery throughout the body,”* explains Ferira.

And that’s just a few highlights of what this mineral can do. Practically every cell in your body needs iron to properly function, giving those who struggle to get adequate amounts of iron another reason to up their daily vitamin C intake.*

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