Vitamin C – The Most Common Health Food Supplement
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid was first isolated from lemons in 1932. The C in this very important vitamin is debatable and may stand for citrus, cold, or collagen for the following reasons.
Fruits found with the highest concentration of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, rose hips, cherries, papayas, cantaloupes, and strawberries. Common vegetable sources are red and green peppers, broccoli, sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.
The most important function of Vitamin C is the formation and maintenance of collagen, the basis of connective tissue, found in skin, ligaments, cartilage, vertebral discs, joint linings, capillary walls, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin. It blocks the oxidation of water-soluble molecules, which lead to the creation of free radicals, the culprits responsible for making our bodies prone to cellular injury and disease.
A most popular disease associated with Vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. Lack of Vitamin C in the body impedes collagen formation, causing reduced health of the tissues. Early symptoms are poor resistance to infection and very slow wound healing. In addition, many medical problems have been found to be associated with low blood levels of Vitamin C. These are common infections, colds, depression, high blood pressure, arthritis, vascular fragility, allergies, ulcers, and even cholesterol gallstones.
The RDA for adults is 60 mg. Only 10 to 20-mg. of Vitamin C are required to prevent scurvy, and there is more than that in one portion of most fruits or vegetables. For most people the minimum dosage is between 100-150 mg. daily.
Vitamin C is the most commonly consumed nutrient supplement and is available as regular or chewable tablet or as time-release capsule, as well as in powder, effervescent, and liquid forms.