The Wonderful World Of Vitamin C
Have you noticed that every time you get sick with colds, there is always someone, if not
everyone, who will suggest that you take Vitamin C because you are probably have a deficiency of Vitamin C? Also,
according to them, this is the reason you got sick with colds in the first place. As if you didn’t want to take in
Vitamin C and you wanted to get sick. How about those times when you get sores in your mouth, or it is taking a
long time for a wound to heal? They will tell you that you lack in Vitamin C.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, is one of the water soluble vitamins that help in maintaining the overall health of
the body. It is involved in a lot of body processes, but it is most significantly seen in its role in the immune
system of the body, as well as its ability to interact with collagen into repairing the body’s cells and to
function as an antioxidant. It is also found involved in several metabolic processes involving the synthesis of a
variety of substances in the body such as collagen, carnitine, norepinephrine, tyrosine and peptide hormones. It
activates enzymes that catalyze these reactions since it is a co-factor of these enzymes. As you can see from these
substances, Vitamin C definitely plays an important part in making the body function smoothly.
Unfortunately, although essential to the body, humans do not have the ability to produce Vitamin C, as opposed
to other essential vitamins in the body. It is therefore a good thing that Vitamin C is quite accessible as it is
found in a wide variety of vegetables and fruits which are the best source of Vitamin C. Several organisms even
produce it. It has been seen that the yeast organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae can produce Vitamin C from simple
sugar compounds. You can also get Vitamin C from supplements.
Unlike other vitamins, the human body can tolerate high dosages of Vitamin C since this just gets flushed out of
the system through urine after its synthesis. But there are still side effects that occur because of its presence
in large amounts in the body. It has been seen to cause diarrhea and stomach ache since this is an acid and too
much in the already acidic stomach can produce an extremely acidic reaction. Other side effects include iron
overdose and kidney stones.
A deficiency of Vitamin C may lead to scurvy, which affects collagen and the ability of the body to repair
damaged connective tissue. Smoking can lead to a drastic decrease in Vitamin C. It is quite interesting to note
that even if several vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, people still become deficient from Vitamin C
probably because of the way these vegetables are prepared and cooked. Over-washed and overcooked vegetables lose
their Vitamin C content, thus becoming a negative source of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is very essential to the body and it is our responsibility to make sure that it gets enough of it.