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Vitamin C, Curbing The Scurvy

Posted Jan 11 2009 3:48pm

Vitamin CVitamin C is another water soluble vitamin often taken in higher than normal doses and goes to waste. You know that Emergen-C drink or Vitamin C supplements that contain about 1000% of the daily recommended allowance? Most of it goes to waste and may not be as beneficial as some may think.

Vitamin C, also know as L-Ascorbate is an essential nutrient needed by humans and most animals. It’s also a very powerful antioxidant often taken in large doses as I previously mentioned. Some people take extra vitamin C during times of common colds because it is said that Vitamin C helps battle the virus and your body gets depleted of Vitamin C when you have a cold. However, it has never been proven, although Vitamin C does have anti-histamine effects.  Vitamin C is important in maintenance of bone and skin health as well as blood vessels. Although the body can only store a certain amount of Vitamin C there are still arguments whether high doses are effective for various reasons.

Vitamin C as a therapeutic supplement has been studied in treatment against AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and even autism.

Vitamin C deficiency can cause Scurvy. Often times Americans used to refer to British sailors (way back) as “Limeys”, referring to the British using lime juice to prevent scurvy with the vitamin C in citric acids. It’s also been said that smokers have lower levels of vitamin C in their bodies, but this is mainly due to poor nutritional habits.

Vitmain C can be found in many various fruits and vegetables as well as raw and cooked animal meats and organs as well as goat and bovine milk. Under a normal, healthy diet Vitamin C is consumed at healthy doses.

While there is very little chance of an overdose of vitamin C taken place, there are some side effects that can come with too much intake of the nutrient. Minor side effects may only be indigestion and diarrhea, however some more  dangerous side effects may be excessive iron absorption in the body in people that may have “iron overload disorders”. There is also speculation that too much vitamin C may cause kidney stones. Women who are pregnant should not take excessive vitamin C as it may reduce production of Progesterone which is crucial to maintain a pregnancy.

So there you have the basics of Vitamin C. As with all Vitamins, the best way to make use of their efficiency is to get them through natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. You have a better chance of your body absorbing what it needs and putting it to good use. We’ll talk about Vitamin D tomorrow (Saturday).

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Tags: Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbate, scurvy, vitamin c

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