February 22 2021
Also called L-absorbic acid, vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin naturally present in foods, available as an additive and supplement. It is considered an essential dietary supplement, since it cannot be synthesized endogenously by humans. The total body content of this vitamin varies from 300 mg (nearly scurvy) to about 2 grams. Cells and tissues that maintain high levels of vitamin C, and are found mostly in eyes, adrenal glands, white blood cells, pituitary gland and brain. Low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids such as saliva, plasma and red blood cells.
Biological functions of Vitamin C: It is a mandatory requirement for the biosynthesis of L-carnitine, collagen and many other neurotransmitters. Collagen, which has a major role to play in wound healing, is an important component of the connective tissue. Vitamin C is an antioxidant by nature, and it is also responsible for generating various other antioxidants, such as vitamin E in the human body when consumed. Vitamin C has a vital role to play in the absorption of nonheme iron, taken from plant-based sources of iron.
Popular sources of vitamin C
- Lemons: lemon juice is one of the most prominent sources of antioxidants as well as vitamin C. 83 mg of vitamin C is provided by one whole raw lemon with its peel. When fruits are cut, polyphenol oxidase enzyme is exposed to oxygen, which triggers oxidation and makes the food brown in color. Lemon juice, because of its antioxidant properties, prevents this to a great extent. It has the same effects when used on skin, preventing dead skin cells and blackening.
- Papayas: 87 mg of vitamin C can be provided by a cup full of papaya pieces. Vitamin C also has great anti-inflammatory effects on the human brain and aids memory too. Hence, it is considered very well for the functions of the human brain and prevents many related diseases. People with Alzheimer’s were given papaya extract for 6 long months, and it improved their brain functions by 40 percent.
- Oranges: a medium sized orange gives you almost 70 grams of vitamin C. since this citrus fruit is widely consumed, it is one of the most known and important sources of vitamin C, as a dietary component. Many other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, limes and mandarins, also fulfill vitamin C requirements of the human body.
- Broccoli: being a cruciferous vegetable, one cup of cooked broccoli provides nearly 25.5 mg of vitamin C when consumed. Eating plenty of cruciferous, vitamin C rich vegetables, can actually help in lowering oxidative stress, lowering chances of heart diseases and cancer and improving the immune functions of the body.
- Yellow bell peppers: the vitamin C content of bell peppers increases as they age. A cup of yellow bell peppers provides 137 mg of vitamin C, which is double the amount found in green bell peppers. Bell peppers are considered great for the eyes and can lower the risks of different medical conditions related to the same, studies suggest.
- Guavas: one guava contains 126 mg of vitamin C, which is quite high for a single piece of fruit. Eating 6 to 7 pieces of guava daily can lower your blood pressure level and bad cholesterol levels, a study suggested.
Benefits of vitamin C
- Fights Anemia: iron, an essential nutrient for the body, it makes red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C can actually catalyze absorption of iron in the body, since in many cases it is poorly absorbed( for example, plant-based iron is poorly absorbed, so vitamin C converts into a form that is more easily absorbed). Consuming 100 grams of iron can improve iron absorption in the body by 67 percent. In a study carried out for children with anemia, it was found out that vitamin C helps fight anemia to a great extent.
- Immunity: vitamin C, by facilitating the functions of white blood cells by protecting them from harmful substances, such as free radicals. It also catalyzes the growth of lymphocytes or white blood cells, which in turn protect our body from various infections and diseases, hence improving immunity.
- Good for skin: vitamin C has a great role to play in the skin defense system. When it is transported to the skin, it protects it from harmful potent substances by acting as an antioxidant.
Alvizia’s alenglow is a supplement consisting of a vitamin C kit and L-glutathione. It protects the skin from free radicals, which are mainly waste products of our body affecting cells and tissues due to many chemical reactions. This combination is able to prevent skin problems like wrinkles, fine lines and ageing. This gives you a smooth and youthful skin, just like you deserve.
- Heart health: vitamin C helps in prevention of heart diseases and also helps people with high blood pressure. Almost 15 studies have found out that consumption of vitamin C was linked to a lower risk of heart diseases. It reduces the amount of bad cholesterol from the body and provides good cholesterol (LDL) to the body. Another group of studies found out that vitamin C consumption helped in maintaining the triglyceride levels and the blood cholesterol levels.
- Prevents chronic diseases: oxidative stress has been linked to many chronic diseases. There are some harmful potent particles, called free radicals that are produced as waste in the body. When these accumulate, they promote the state of oxidative stress. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body by improving its immune function and helping it fight against risks of many chronic diseases. Vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by 30 percent.
- Prevents dementia: dementia is a condition that involves poor thinking and other mental abilities that occurs mainly due to ageing. Low levels of vitamin C consumption are directly linked to the impairment of brain functions. Many studies have found out that people with dementia have lower levels of vitamin C in blood. Supplements of this vitamin can actually improve your brain functions and thinking abilities.