Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is also called as ascorbic acid (Fig.
C is essential for building collagen the connective tissue protein which
cements the cells and tissues together. The effect of this material is to
provide firm tissues of all kinds. This vitamin helps forming strong blood
vessels, teeth firmly held in their sockets, and bones firmly held together.
It has a
general antioxidant role, especially in the regeneration of oxidized vitamin E
acid reduces the ferric ion (Fe3+) to ferrous (Fe2+) ion
and thus helps in the absorption of iron. It is also essential for rapid
healing of wounds.
Raw fresh vegetables contain vitamin C, but
some foods are more outstanding than others. Orange, grape, lime and lemon are
especially rich in vitamin C.
Recommended amount of vitamin C for different
age group is as follows:
Infants - 35 mg / day
Children - 40 mg / day
Adults - 45 mg / day
Pregnant women - 60 mg / day
Lactating women - 80 mg / day
Ascorbic acid is rapidly absorbed from the
intestines and passed on through the portal vein to the general circulation.
Liver and other organs and tissues have an optimal level of ascorbic acid.
Excess intake do not increase further the optimal levels.
Severe deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy. This is characterised by easy
bruising and hemorrhaging of the skin, lossening of the teeth, bleeding of the
gums and distruption of the cartilages that support the skeleton.