In the year of 1536, the French explorer Jacques Cartier looked into the St. Lawrence River and used folk sciences’ knowledge to save his colleague who was highly infected by scurvy. To save him, Jacques boiled the needles of the tree known as Arbor Vitae and made a tea out of it that was later discovered to have 50 mg of Vitamin C per 100 gm. Then onwards, the time witnesses great discoveries and advancement in medical science and as a hallmark, from 1928-1933, the Hungarian research team of Joseph Svirbely and Albert Szent-Györgyi and, another American Charles Glen King got success and showed isolated Vitamin C as ascorbic acid and for this, Szent-Györgyi were honored the Nobel Prize in Medicine in the year of 1937.
Today, we have great instruments using what we now know much more about each molecule and element that plays important role in building and maintaining the human body. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient of all living organisms including plants and its presence makes important metabolic reactions possible in all animals and also in plants. Ascorbic acid is generally made internally by almost all the living organisms, human beings, being the only exceptions.
Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is very essential in the synthesis of collagen in the connective tissues, in almost all neurochemicals (also called as neurotransmitters) and certain steroid hormones. It has significant role in conversion of cholesterol to the bile acids and Vitamin C also heightens the bioavailability of the iron. All the medical sciences agree that ascorbic acid is one of the greatest antioxidants and hence acts as the shield against various infections and free radicals.
It is the best healer and hence, no wonder that you receive Vitamin C supplement if your wound is not healing properly or it is getting delayed. L-ascorbic acid promotes the healthy cell development and it makes proper absorption of the calcium in the body. Being a biological reducing agent, it is also said to prevent some of the degenerative disease such as cataracts and also some of the cardiovascular diseases and certain cancerous conditions.
Vitamin C is an important element for healthy gums and deficiency of which can cause bleeding gums. This Vitamin is also known to provide energy to the body as all of us must have experienced energetic after having some lemon drink or a simple orange juice. Researchers say that it can significantly reduce the risks of having cataracts and consuming more Vitamin C may help improving lung functions. Increased antioxidant such as ascorbic acid can also lower your risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. This important Vitamin also prevents the LDL from being oxidized and hence decreases the risk of arteriosclerosis. In addition, Vitamin C also possesses antihypertensive, antiviral and immunomodulatory properties.
L-ascorbic acid is water soluble and hence, unfortunately, it cannot be stored in the body and it gets expelled out in urine. Therefore, it is important to take supplement of Vitamin C regularly, on daily basis. The dosage underneath RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance is about 80-90 mg per day. However, this is minimum amount but different countries follow different dosage. For instance, in the UK it is 40 mg per day; as per WHO it is 45 mg; Health Canada suggests taking 60 mg per day; and 60-95 mg/day is recommended by US National Academy of Sciences. You can take 80-100 mg/day as standard one.
The sources of Vitamin C includes almost all citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, potatoes with skins, green and red pepper, spinach, mint and lemons. Fortunately, we can supply Vitamin C in the form of pills and syrups and hence, its deficiency can be tackled well. Vitamin C gets destroyed if cooked and when exposed more under sunlight. They are best consumed as raw salads and hence, you should squeeze lemon when the food is cooked and not during the cooking process to save its potency.