Vitamin C

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Vitamin C, the L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin used by the body for a number of purposes.

As a participant of hydroxylation, Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen in the connective tissue. These fibres are ubiquitous throughout human body and all organs need these fibres for constant rebuilding of their structure. Some tissues have a greater percentage of fibres, they are :

Vitamin C is also used in the body for amino acid synthesis and to release hormones from the adrenal glands. It is a powerful antioxidant.

Lack of ascorbic acid in daily diet leads to a disease called scurvy, a form of avitaminosis and characterized by:

Daily dietary recommendations by different authorities say of 50-150 mg of ascorbic acid per day.

In case of disease highest doses rarely exceed 1000 mg (1g). High doses may result in diarrhea
Recently "Nature" reported carcinogenic and teratogenic effects of excessive doses of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is used to prevent scurvy, improve iron absorption and heal bruises. It is also useful as a concommitant medicine in colds, flu, and other infections. Rationale for the use is that there is increased demand and ascorbic acid take part in regeneratory actions.

Citrus fruits (lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit and tomato) are very high in Vitamin C. Other foods that are good sources of vitamin C include papaya, broccoli, brussels sprouts, blackberries, strawberries, cauliflower, spinach, cantaloupe, and blueberries. An excess of vitamin C is generally excreted. Most animals can synthesize their own vitamin C, but some animals, including primates, guinea pigs, and humans cannot. Vitamin C was first isolated in 1928, and in 1932 it was found to cure scurvy.

Nobel Prize winning chemist Linus Pauling began actively promoting Vitamin C in the 1960s as a means to greatly improve human health and resistance to disease.