Vitamin C is an antioxidant with the additional power of regenerating other antioxidants. It is used by the body in the formation of collagen (a structure protein found in skin, bones, tendons, and cartilage), carnitine (needed to breakdown fat), and neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and serotonin). Additionally, Vitamin C is involved in utilizing cholesteroland inactivating outside pollutants, such as drugs, carcinogens, pesticides, and food additives. The more pollutants your body is exposed to, the more Vitamin C it will require.
Vitamin C deficiency is called scurvy and includes the symptoms of bleeding gums, hemorrhage below the tongue, small red skin discolorations, easy bruising, impaired wound and fracture healing, joint pain, and loose and decaying teeth.
Sources & Absorption:
The body is unable to store Vitamin C for later use, therefore it must be consumed daily or every few days. Excellent sources of Vitamin C include asparagus, papaya, oranges, cantaloupe, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, grapefruit, kale, lemons, and strawberries. Vitamin C is easily absorbed.
Since Vitamin C is not stored in the body, there is no risk of long-term toxicity. However, excessive supplementing may result in temporary abdominal pain and diarrhea.
* This information is not intended to encourage self-supplementation. As you will read in individual nutrient content, self-supplementation can be unnecessary or even dangerous. I highly recommend micro-nutrient blood testing before choosing to take any supplements that are not whole-foods based.
Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; 2009.
Mahan L, Escott-Stump S, Raymond J. Krauses's food and the nutrition care process. 13th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
Linda Beeker, RDN
I love sharing the power of nutrition - a gift of God's design.