Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water-soluble vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid. Even before its discovery, physicians recognized that there must be a compound in citrus fruits preventing scurvy, a disease that killed many sailors a few hundred years ago. Later research revealed that humans depend on external sources to cover their vitamin C requirements, while most animals are able to synthesize vitamin C in their body (1, 82).

Health functions

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) contributes to the normal health and function of bones, teeth, cartilage, gums, skin, blood vessels, and the nervous system.

Disease risk reduction

The results of most earlier prospective studies indicated that low or deficient intakes of vitamin C were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and that modest dietary intakes of about 100 mg/day were sufficient for maximum reduction of cardiovascular disease risk among non-smoking men and women (2).

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Things to know about Vitamin C

  • Other applications

    Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

  • Intake recommendations

    The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is dependent on age, gender, and other factors.

  • Supply situation

    Nutrition surveys in several European countries, such as Austria (37), Ireland (38) and the Netherlands (39), suggest that only close to 50% of the population meet national intake recommendations for vitamin C.

  • Deficiency

    Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency is also known as scurvy. Symptoms include bleeding and bruising, hair and tooth loss, joint pain and swelling.

  • Sources

    Foods high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) high vitamin include fruits and vegetables like strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, sweet red pepper, and broccoli.

  • Safety

    There is no reliable scientific evidence that large amounts of vitamin C are toxic or detrimental to health.

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.