Vitamin C is probably the most popular vitamin. It is easy to buy, relatively cheap. Every winter vitamin C tablets are swallowed, chewed or drunk in an attempt to combat the common cold.
- It has been described as the cement of the body and without it wounds do not heal, bones cannot mend and bacterial infection can spread rapidly throughout the tissues.
- This total disorder of the system was the symptom most commonly seen among sailors at sea in the times of the long voyages of discovery.
- Without this source of ascorbic acid then scurvy seemed inevitable. The name ascorbic acid comes from the word scorbutic, meaning scurvy, hence ascorbic meaning anti scurvy.
- All vitamins are supposed to work for us to achieve optimum health and we are often persuaded to take extra vitamins to that end, but no supplement is purported to have such special powers as vitamin C.
- If all other vitamins vanished from the counter and we were offered vitamin C as an alternative, the chances are that we would accept it and believe that it would do the job as well as the next.
- We should consume two to three grams of the vitamin a day, and if we were able to make additional amounts within the body, as many animals do, we should have a daily quota of ten grams to draw on for all the reactions that need and use vitamin C.
- Vitamin C acts as a reducing agent in some reactions. It is relatively safe but a high intake does produce a high output of oxalic acid. Vitamin C is also involved in bone formation.
Under normal conditions it aids in the deposition of minerals in the bone tissue to form strong healthy bone.
- The fall of intake from two grams to the normal 40-50mg level represented a gross deficiency in the patient and produced clinical signs of scurvy.
Certain factors such as ill health, stress and smoking increase our need for vitamin C.
- This can become critical when the normal intake from food is low but a diet which contains potatoes, green vegetables, fresh fruit, meat and milk should provide more than enough to cover all eventualities.
- In summer our intake of vitamin C can rise to 100mg or more particularly when soft fruits and salads are in abundance.
- If you decide to take some extra vitamin C then keep a record of the dose and the effect, if any, on your general health.