Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is one of thirteen essential vitamins the human body requires every day. It is soluble in water and naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
While most animals produce Vitamin C endogenously, humans cannot make it and need dietary supplements to fulfil their daily Vitamin C requirements. Hence, whether or not you have a deficiency, you need Vitamin C.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is crucial for reducing deficiency and improving health and immunity. The following are the benefits and importance of Vitamin C:
- Vitamin C helps in the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and various neurotransmitters. Collagen plays a prominent role in wound healing.
- It is also a vital physiological antioxidant that regenerates more antioxidants, such as alpha-tocopherol or Vitamin-E. Vitamin C negates the harmful effects of free radicals, which can cause cancer, heart ailments, and Arthritis.
- Vitamin C improves the human body’s immune function and helps absorb the iron found in plant-based foods, such as nonheme iron.
- It helps the human body to fight viruses and infections, like pneumonia and lung infections.
- An adequate intake of Vitamin C can reduce wrinkles and signs of ageing, and aid skincare, the reason why most dermatologists recommend Vitamin C in the human diet.
Vitamin C Deficiency – Is It Harmful?
As the human body cannot produce Vitamin C endogenously, you have to consume foods rich in Vitamin C. Alternatively; you may take dietary supplements. Vitamin C deficiency in the human body can lead to the following diseases:
- Skin ageing
- Rough skin
- Abnormalities in the growth of body hair
- Easy bruising and excessive bleeding
- Swollen joints, which can lead to Arthritis
- Weak bones
- Gum and teeth problems
Hence, you should always ensure an adequate Vitamin C intake to prevent several life-threatening diseases and ailments.
Vitamin C Deficiency – Treatment and Diet
As a fact, the best way to get Vitamin C is through dietary supplements. However, several naturally found fruits and vegetables can also provide you with the required amount of Vitamin C.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA for Vitamin C is as follows:
For babies between zero and six months, it is 40 mg daily while for those between seven and twelve months it is 50 mg daily. Coming to children between one and three years it is only 15 mg daily while for children between four and eight years it is 25 mg daily.
For children between nine and thirteen years, the requirement is 45 mg daily and adolescent boys and girls between it are between 65 mg – 75 mg daily. Finally, for adults aged 19 and above it a whooping 75 mg to 120 mg daily
If you want to increase the Vitamin C level in your body through food, you should consume fruits and vegetables like orange, kiwi, broccoli, tomato, cantaloupe, cabbage, cauliflower, potato, spinach, and green peas.
You can also increase the Vitamin C level in your body through dietary supplements. Most dietary supplements contain ascorbic acid, which is considered the equivalent of fruits like orange and vegetables like broccoli. Sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate are other types of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C – Effects on Skin
Nearly every skincare product you find on your favourite supermarket’s shelves contains Vitamin C in some form. Vitamin C has various positive effects on your skin. Firstly, since it is an antioxidant, it neutralises free radicals. Secondly, it helps repair the body’s damaged cells and makes you look fresh all through the day. Thirdly, it helps your body to fight harmful Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation. Fourthly, Vitamin C reduces the speed of skin ageing. Dermatologists globally prefer Vitamin C as it increases elastin and collagen production and triggers the skin to heal itself.
Vitamin C also decreases melanin production, which is responsible for skin discolouration and causes hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
While it is true that Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins a human being needs, over intake of Vitamin C may reduce its importance.
Since Vitamin C is known to have low toxicity, overuse of this vitamin can result in diseases like diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, gastrointestinal problems. It may also increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. Moreover, since Vitamin C increases nonheme iron absorption, it can cause tissue damage.
Hence, before deciding what amount of Vitamin C is appropriate for you, you should conduct a few tests and consult a dermatologist.
Regency Healthcare is an all-in-one healthcare facility that contains state-of-the-art laboratories and dermatologists who can chart out the best diet for improving your health. The specialists can guide you on the right dosage of Vitamin C. Contact Regency now for a healthier lifestyle