Vitamin C: Benefits, Sources, and Deficiency of Vitamin C

Vitamin C: Benefits, Sources, and Deficiency of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin obtained from various foods and sold as a dietary supplement. Vitamin C is also as Ascorbic acid. It is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It functions as an antioxidant vitamin. It is also known as an anti-scurvy vitamin.

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is present in plant products such as fruits and vegetables like kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, raspberries, watermelon, blueberries, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, etc. Animal products such as pork liver, oysters, beef liver, etc. are good sources of Vitamin C.

Deficiency Disease

Scurvy - In this condition, a person leads to symptoms of weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin problems. It's because Vitamin C is needed for making collagen, an important component in connective tissue.

Vitamin C deficiency can lead to red, swollen, bleeding gums. Gum tissues become weakened and inflamed and blood vessels bleed more easily.

It plays an important role in collagen production, a protein that is abundant in connective tissues like skin, hair, joints, bones and blood vessels. Keratosis Pilaris is a condition in which Vitamin C levels are low.

When the body is deficient of Vitamin C, hair follicles on the surface of the skin contain many tiny blood vessels that supply.

When the body is deficient of Vitamin C, hair follicles on the surface of skin contain many tiny blood vessels that supply blood to it, hair follicles become fragile and break easily causing small, bright red spots around it.

Vitamin C keeps skin healthy and protects it from oxidative damage caused by the sun and exposure to pollutants like Cigarette smoke or ozone.  It promotes collagen production which keeps our skin looking plump and youthful.

Vitamin C deficiency causes wounds to heal more slowly. Vitamin C deficiency leads to poor immunity and a higher risk of infection including serious illness like pneumonia. It accumulates various types of immune cells to destroy the disease-causing pathogens.

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens your body's natural defenses. Antioxidants boost our immune system.
  • It also helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
  • Vitamin C helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin C also improves the absorption of iron from the diet.  It is essential for making red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body.
  • Vitamin C rich foods and supplements can reduce blood uric acid levels and lower the risk of gout.
  • Vitamin C helps the white blood cells to function more effectively strengthening our skin's defense system and helping wounds heal faster.
  • Vitamin C helps in the production of lymphocytes and phagocytes which help to protect the body against infection.
  • Vitamin C deficiency level has been linked to an increased risk of memory and thinking disorders like dementia.

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