Vitamin C (विटामिन सी), also known as ascorbic acid, which is found in fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables. It is one of the water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin C is important in wound healing. Without enough vitamin C, a person can get a sickness called scurvy. Lack of vitamin C was a serious health problem on long ocean trips where supplies of fresh fruit were quickly used up. Many people died from scurvy on such trips. It was first discovered in 1928. In 1932, it was proved to stop the sickness called scurvy. It, however, is the most vital vitamin for the body, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System wishes our valuable readers to go through this article for well-being.
Definition of Vitamin C (विटामिन सी की परिभाषा)
An essential nutrient found mainly in fruits and vegetables. The body requires it to form and maintain bones, blood vessels, and skin. It is also known as ascorbic acid. This is a water-soluble vitamin, one that cannot be stored by the body except in insignificant amounts.
Functions of Vitamin C in the body (शरीर में विटामिन सी के कार्य)
In living organisms, ascorbate is an antioxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress. It is also a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen synthesis reactions that cause the most severe symptoms of scurvy when they are dysfunctional. In animals, these reactions are especially important in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries.
- Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen in the connective tissue. These fibers are in many places throughout the body; providing firm but flexible structure. Some of the tissues have a greater percentage of collagen, especially: skin, mucous membranes, teeth, and bones.
- It is required for the making of dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline in the nervous system or in the adrenal glands.
- Vitamin C is also needed to make carnitine, important in the transfer of energy to the cell mitochondria.
- It is a strong antioxidant.
- The tissues with the greatest percentage of vitamin C, over 100 times the level in blood plasma, are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
- The brain, spleen, lung, testicle, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney, and salivary glands usually have 10 to 50 times the concentration present in plasma.
Vitamin C deficiency (विटामिन सी की कमी)
Lack of vitamin C in the daily diet leads to a disease called scurvy, a form of avitaminosis that is characterized by:
- Loose teeth
- Superficial bleeding
- The fragility of blood vessels
- Poor healing
- Compromised immunity
- Mild anemia.
Rich sources of Vitamin C (विटामिन सी के समृद्ध स्रोत)
Citrus Fruits (खट्टे फल)
The most common source is citrus fruits. It is said that one lime or orange per day may be enough for one to get their required dose.
Bell Peppers (बेल मिर्च)
Whether you are baking an Italian casserole or tossing vegetables in an Asian stir-fry, make sure to add bell peppers.
This wonder vegetable is a storehouse of benefits. Packed with Vitamin C, include it in your salads.
Just half a cup of papaya can give you enough of the vitamin C for the entire day. Its many other benefits are additional motivation to have the fruit.
A bowl of strawberries and cream may be sinful but it is also packed with Vitamin C.
Eaten raw, tomatoes have plenty of vitamins. Eat them plain or toss them in a salad, add them into sandwiches or burgers, tomatoes are the most versatile fruit to eat.
Daily requirement (दैनिक आवश्यकता)
A healthy person on a balanced western diet should be able to get all the vitamin C needed to prevent the symptoms of scurvy from their daily diet. People who smoke, those under stress and women in pregnancy have a slightly higher requirement.
The amount of vitamin C needed to avoid deficiency symptoms and maintain health has been set by variously national agencies as follows:
- 40 mg per day UK Food Standards Agency
- 60–95 mg per day US Food and Nutrition Board 2001 revision.
High doses may result in diarrhea, which is harmless if the dose is reduced immediately. Some researchers claim the onset of diarrhea to be an indication of where the body’s true requirement lies.
The small size of the ascorbic acid molecule means the kidneys cannot retain it in the body. Quite a low level in the blood serum will cause traces to be present in the urine.
Large amounts of the vitamin are used in orthomolecular medicine and no harmful effects have been observed even in doses of 10,000 mg per day or more.
Health Benefits (स्वास्थ्य लाभ)
Also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for the body. Below are some of its many health benefits:
Prevention of Scurvy (स्कर्वी की रोकथाम)
At one point, Scurvy was a real threat and common amongst sailors who spent long periods of time at sea. When the fresh produce ran out, the sailors suffered Vitamin C deficiency which led to Scurvy.
Treatment of a common cold (सामान्य सर्दी का उपचार)
Known to boost immunity, this is the most well-known benefit of Vitamin C. Though it may not help prevent cold, it can reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the same.
In layman terms, an antioxidant helps keep harmful chemical reactions within our body in check. These reactions can do damage our eyes and many other things. Antioxidants act as a neutralizer and help the body maintain the status quo.
Absorption of Iron (आयरन का अवशोषण)
Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron in the body. Thus, one should try to pair iron-rich foods with those packed with Vitamin C to get the maximum benefit. The vitamin transforms iron into a state.
Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, which literally keeps us ‘intact’. Patients suffering from Scurvy, lose teeth, the strength in their bones, etc.
Brain Health (मस्तिष्क स्वास्थ्य)
Anti-depression (अवसाद विरोधी)
Though the intake of Vitamin C is not directly linked to the upliftment of your mood, it plays an integral role in targeting serotonin and is essential for depression and your well-being.
Healthy skin (स्वस्थ त्वचा)
Vitamin C aids in the creation of scar tissue and ligaments, helping the skin repair itself. The latest research also shows that ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, which is a derivative of vitamin C, plays a role in neutralizing free radicals and also is capable of reversing DNA damage. The vitamin keeps skin supple and healthy.
Side effects of excessive Vitamin C (अत्यधिक विटामिन सी के दुष्प्रभाव)
Less commonly, people may experience severe side effects from taking too much vitamin C. Long term intake above the recommended levels increases the risk of these negative effects.
Kidney stones (पथरी)
Doctors believe that too much vitamin C supplementation could result in a person excreting the compounds oxalate and uric acid in their urine. These compounds could lead to kidney stone formation.
The authors of a case study in the journal Kidney International reported that a woman developed kidney stones after taking 4 g or more each day for 4 months. However, researchers have not conducted any larger-scale studies and kidney stone formation. They do know that people who have a history of kidney stones are more likely to form them if they take large amounts, according to the ODS.
Nutrient imbalances (पोषक असंतुलन)
Another concern regarding excessive intake is that it can impair the body’s ability to process other nutrients. For example, it may reduce the levels of vitamin B-12 and copper in the body. The presence of vitamin C can also enhance iron absorption in the body, which could lead to excessively high levels.
Bone spurs (अस्थि स्पर्स)
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one study found that the presence of very high vitamin C levels in the body increased the likelihood of a person developing painful bone spurs. However, the Foundation also cited a research study that found that people with low levels had a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful inflammatory joint condition.
Evidence suggests that taking the supplements may impair the body’s ability to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in people taking the combination drug niacin-simvastatin. This drug combines the vitamin niacin with the statin simvastatin (Zocor), and people take it to treat high cholesterol.
Doctors consider HDL cholesterol the “good” cholesterol because it reduces the amount of harmful cholesterol in the blood. If a person takes supplements and niacin-simvastatin, they should talk to their doctor about ways to make each more effective. Doctors do not know whether it also affects the ability of other medicines similar to Zocor.
Therapeutic uses (चिकित्सीय उपयोग)
It is needed in the diet to prevent scurvy, which also has a reputation for being useful in the treatment of colds and flu. The evidence to support this idea, however, is ambiguous and the effect may depend on the dose size and dosing regime. The Vitamin C Foundation recommends 8 grams every half hour to show an effect on cold symptoms.