Vitamin C – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Other names :: Ascorbic acid, L-dehydroascorbic acid

Vitamin C also known as, ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, the antiscorbutic vitamin, L-xyloascorbic acid and L-threo-hex-2-uronic acidy-lactone, is a much talked about vitamin, with people claiming it as a cure-all for may diseases and problems – from cancer to the common cold.  Vitamin C is the most widely taken supplement in America. And with good reason. It is responsible for the formation, maintenance, and repair of collagen, the substance that forms the foundation of skin, ligaments, cartilage, vertebral discs, joint linings, capillary walls, and the bones and teeth. Also, it is required for utilizing carbohydrates and synthesizing fats and proteins.

Actions and benefits of vitamin C

  • Activates growth and repair in tissues, boosts immune system, antioxidant, all organs and glands, connective tissues.
  • Promotes healing in every situation of ill health.
  • Can lower beneficial cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • May reduce cholesterol.
  • Also, synthesis of collagen for healthy skin and mucous membranes.
  • Possible relief of herpes infections of eyes and genitals.
  • May retard aging.

Recommended dosage of vitamin C

  • Adults – 60 mg.
  • Pregnant women – 70 mg.

Signs of Overdose:

Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin C

  • Nosebleeds.
  • Scurvy.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Swollen or painful joints.
  • Poor digestion.

When more may be required

  • The need for vitamin C will dramatically increase in times when the body is subjected to trauma, infections, and strenuous exercise, elevated environmental temperatures or if the person is a smoker. Smokers should supplement with another 100 mg per day.
  • Smokers. Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking deplete the body of vitamin C.
  • Depressed or stressed individuals. Both depression and stress have been shown to deplete vitamin C in the body.

Best food sources of vitamin C

All fruits and vegetables, especially strawberries, blackberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, apples, persimmons, guavas, mangos, acerola, cherries, potatoes, cabbage, kale, papayas, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, green bell peppers, red peppers, avocados, bananas, collards, black currants, parsley, rose hips, etc.

How to use vitamin C

  • Consume fresh fruits lightly cooked or raw.
  • Steaming vegetables may reduce Vitamin C concentration.
  • Leaving food exposed to light and air may decease concentration.

Available as:

Liquid: the best form due to its high bioavailability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets: taking 1.5 hours after a meal is generally recommended. Effervescent is also available.

Injectable forms are available from your doctor.


If aspirin and standard vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are taken together in large doses, stomach irritation can occur, possibly leading to ulcers . If you take aspirin regularly, use an esterified form of vitamin C, and take it separately from the aspirin.

Useful References

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