- Vitamin C is required for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. It is essential for life and in healing wounds and maintaining the integrity of gums, bones, and teeth.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble nutrients are not stored in the body. Amounts in excess of what the body needs for any given day are excreted in the urine.
- Vitamin C is a highly effective anti-oxidant. An anti-oxidant is a molecule that slows or prevents cell damage caused by free-radicals. A build up of free radicals over time is responsible for the aging process and can contribute to the development of cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Anti-oxidants can also help rid the body of pollutants like cigarette smoke.
- Most of the animal kingdom can produce vitamin C. Among the animals that need to consume vitamin C to maintain life include guinea pigs, bats, sparrows, and large primates - including man.
- Inadequate amounts of vitamin C will lead to dry hair, inflammation of the gums, easy bruising, nosebleeds, swollen joints, anemia, decreased ability to fight infection, and slow healing wounds. Severe vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy which includes bleeding hair follicles, nail beds, and gums. Untreated, the condition results in death.
- Scurvy is rare in the United States but can be found in seniors and adults who are malnourished as a result of other chronic illnesses.
- Vitamin C toxicity is rare because the body simply excretes what it doesn’t need. Taking Vitamin C supplements in excess of 2,000 mg/day can result in gastrointestinal distress.
Tagged with: Health