Vitamin C Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms, Food Sources, Toxicity and Upper Limits

Introduction to Vitamin C

Humans do not have enzyme to produce vitamin C at their own, so they have to rely on external sources for this vitamin. In normal situations, you need only small amount of this vitamin. However, in certain situations, you might have to take additional amounts of this vitamin. This is water soluble vitamin, so human body cannot retain it for much longer. That’s why you have to supply this vitamin on daily basis. This vitamin is also known as Ascorbic Acid.

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Acts as coenzyme to synthesize and use certain amino acid
  • It helps to make collagen which is required by connective tissues
  • Acts as antioxidant and reduces the risk of chronic diseases
  • Helps absorb iron from food
  • Breaks down histamine which causes allergic reactions and inflammation
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps body make white blood cells which help fight infection
  • Keeps blood vessels healthy

Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms

  • Low levels of collagen which can affect connective tissues, bones, and overall body
  • Compromised immune system
  • As it helps absorb iron, the hemochromatosis patients should avoid excessive amounts of vitamin c as it can store too much iron in the body
  • Too much vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Leaves the person prone to infectious diseases

Daily Vitamin C Requirements

  • Men 19 to 50 years – 90 mg
  • Women 19 to 50 years – 75 mg

Vitamin C Upper Limits

  • The upper level for adults has been set to 3000 mg (or 3 g)

Vitamin C Toxicity

Although excessive amounts of vitamin C are not known to be toxic, consuming more than 3000 mg (3g) can cause nausea, stomach cramps,  and diarrhea.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

  • Tomato, 1/2 medium – 8 mg
  • Baked potato, with skin, 1 small  – 13 mg
  • Sweet potato, boiled, 1 – 20 mg
  • Peas, frozen, low sodium, cooked, 1 cup  – 35 mg
  • Vegetable juice, low sodium, 1 cup  – 67 mg
  • Tomato soup, 1 cup – 68 mg
  • Tomato soup, 1 cup – 101 mg
  • Red pepper, 1 raw – 226 mg
  • Pineapple, canned, 1 cup – 24 mg
  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup – 59 mg
  • Orange, 1 medium – 70 mg
  • Kiwi, 1 – 71
  • Grapefruit, sections, 1 – 79 mg
  • Strawberries, raw, 1 cup – 89 mg

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