This Article is About
vitamin c
oranges and lemons
fresh fruit and vegetables
sources of vitamin c
fresh fruit and vegetable
fruits and vegetables
kidney stones
Importance Of Vitamin C
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Vitamin C

Two hundred and fifty years ago, long sea voyages were extremely hazardous. The biggest hazard was scurvy a potentially fatal disease that developed after the ship had been at sea so long that there was no fresh food left and the crew survived on meat and bread. If they did not reach land soon and get fresh food, this disease claimed more lives than shipwreck, storm or conflict.

In 1747 Dr. James Lind discovered that oranges and lemons cured scurvy and eventually the British Royal Navy supplied lime juice to all its men – hence the nickname ‘limey. Meanwhile, German sailors were keeping scurvy away by eating sauerkraut. It wasn't until the early twentieth century that the mysterious anti-scurvy substance was isolated from citrus fruit. It was called ascorbic (anti-scurvy) acid, also known as vitamin C. it was soon found that all fresh fruit and vegetable contain it.

The role of Vitamin C

It is important for the circulation, as it helps maintain the blood vessels, and helps with the absorption of iron and the formation of hemoglobin (the red oxygen-carrying pigment in the blood). It is also important for the skin and for every organ in the body because it helps to form and maintain collagen – the fibrous protein which is the basis of all the connective and structural

tissues. It helps with fighting infection and with wound healing. In addition, it is a powerful antioxidant, helping to prevent ageing, heart disease and cancer.

Excess is possible because of mega-vitamin therapy. Some therapies recommend up to 12 g of vitamin C a day. Such large amounts can over-acidify the urine and cause kidney stones to form.

As water-soluble vitamin it is damaged by air, heat and water, so cooking and storage methods are important.

Food sources of Vitamin C

Fresh fruit and vegetables are most important sources. Dried fruits

and vegetables have lost most of their vitamin C. Frozen fruits

and vegetables retain most of it. Even tinned fruits and bottled

juice retain some, though often extra is added. Cereals, pulses,

nuts, dairy produce and meats have little or no natural vitamin C.

Recommended daily intake

It is recommended an intake of 10 mg of vitamin C to avoid scurvy, 30 mg to run normal metabolism. Smokers need more than non-smokers and so do those who are ill or recovering from illness. At 100 g a day, in normal people, including smokers, all tissues are saturated with vitamin C and any excess is excreted. A whole plant food diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, some of them raw, will ensure an abundant supply of vitamin C.


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Hi Martha, This is another great and interesting article.

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  about 5 years ago
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