Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is the most famous one of the water-soluble vitamins. It is the most popular supplement on the market. Why did it gain such notoriety? Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and others believed that the current recommended amounts of vitamin C might be enough to prevent deficiency, but not enough to prevent chronic diseases.

James Lind, a doctor in the British Royal Navy, conducted an experiment in 1747 with two groups of sailors at sea. One group was given lemon juice with their food, the other group wasn’t. With this he showed that vitamin C in the form of lemon juice prevented scurvy. Lind published his results in 1753 and the British Navy waited more than 40 years to add lemon juice to the standard rations for sailors.

What does vitamin C do? It is an electron donor for eight enzymes. This means that it allows enzymes to do their jobs better. It aids in the synthesis of carnitin. Carnitin is a compound that helps to get fat through cell membranes. Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein essential in wound healing, that’s why this vitamin gets its reputation as promoting wound healing.
It is needed for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. It is needed for peptide hormone synthesis and tyrosine.

It aids in the enhancement of iron absorption. Iron needs to be reduced in order to be absorbed. If you want to increase the absorption of iron take it with a source of vitamin C.

As an antioxidant, it decreases the damage from free radicals and harmful reactions from the body. It helps to protect cell membranes. Certainly it has a significant role in producing cartilage, bone and tooth.

Where do We Get Vitamin C From

Where do we get Vitamin C from? Fruits and vegetables. For example, 1 cup of strawberries has 97 milligrams, an orange has 70 milligrams. Any fruit or vegetable is going to have some of it. Here’s a table with some of my favorite foods and their Vitamin C content.


1 kiwi31 milligrams
1 organge70 milligrams
1 cup strawberries98 milligrams
1 cup watermelon12 milligrams
1 cup papaya87 milligrams


1 cup orange juice120 milligrams
1 cup tomato juice45 milligrams


1 cup red cabbage, raw40 milligrams
1 cup cabbage, raw26 milligrams
1 cup cauliflower, cooked55 milligrams
1 potato, baked 20 mg20 milligrams
1 sweet potato, baked29 milligrams
1 cup tomato, raw23 milligrams
1 cup tomato, canned22 milligrams

How Much We Need

These recommended amounts are sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly 98% of healthy individuals in particular life stages. There are no exact daily requirements for individuals who are ill. Individuals engaged in strenuous exercise and smokers need more than a normal amount, and you should consult your doctor if that is your case.

0-6 months40 milligrams
7-12 months50 milligrams
1-3 years15 milligrams
4-8 years25 milligrams
9-13 years45 milligrams
14-18 years75 milligrams
>18 years90 milligrams
9-13 years45 milligrams
14-18 years65 milligrams
>18 years75 milligrams

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