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Vitamin Focus: C

by Louise May 7th, 2010 | Vitamins
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You see it boasted on orange juice cartons and fruit snack packs: “Contains 100% Vitamin C in each serving!” But how much vitamin C is this, and what does it do?

What is it and what does it do? Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is found in many forms and used in many parts of the body, including cartilage and connective tissues (of our organs, bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, etc.). It’s just about everywhere! In addition to that, it can be beneficial to take it along with iron, in order to help your body better absorb the iron. Lastly, it also helps your body protect the fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and E.

What happens if we do not take in Vitamin C? You may have heard of the disease scurvy; it is caused by a lack of Vitamin C. It was common centuries ago on long voyages because the crew did not have fresh fruits and vegetables that would last the entire voyage. Scurvy causes inflamed gums, loose teeth, easy bruising, and pain in the joints, among other problems. The British Navy solved the scurvy problem by drinking lime juice on longer journeys.

Can we take in too much Vitamin C? The recommended amount is 60 to 90 milligrams. Because it is a water-soluble vitamin, your body will excrete the extra amounts through urination. In fact, there are many products on the market that contain extremely high amounts of vitamin C, such as Emergen-C. However, these products are only useful if you aren’t able to get your vitamin C from other foods because your body simply flushes the excess out, which can make such products a waste if you’re getting enough vitamins anyway. It has been confirmed as safe for adults to take up to 2,000 mg per day. If you take more than that, the worst problem you might encounter is diarrhea.

What foods are naturally rich in Vitamin C? As you probably already know, Vitamin C is abundant in fruits, notably citrus fruits but also in vegetables.

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  1. […] sure to get plenty of Vitamin C. Drink fruit juice or simply eat more […]

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.