Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Role of Vitamin C in Enhancing Health: Natural Sources of Ascorbic Acid and Precautions for Supplements

A study conducted on 119 patients who had undergone angioplasty, it was observed that Vitamin C was beneficial in preventing reblockage of arteries. Among the case group, who took 500 mg of Vitamin C each day for four months, 24% suffered from restenosis, compared to 43% in the control group. This study pointed towards the role of Vitamin C in preventing myocardial infraction and heart attacks.
Chemical Structure of
Ascorbic Acid

What is Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid?
Vitamin C was initially known for it roles as early as the 17th Century, for prevention of scurvy, a condition that affected long distance sailors. Identified as one of the key components of Lemon juice, Vitamin C was referred to as Ascorbic acid due to its antiscorbutic (anti-scurvy property).
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid is a primary water soluble anti-oxidant, which is effective in preventing damage caused due to unstable oxygen molecules, often referred to as free radicals. Recent studies have focused on these properties of Vitamin C in protecting cells from free radical damage

Benefits of Vitamin C: Role of Ascorbic Acid in enhancing Health
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and plays a crucial role in healthy and disease free life. Here are some of the essential benefits that the vitamin offers to the human body,
1.    Ascorbic Acid plays a crucial role in enhancing immunity. Its role in minimizing the symptoms associated with common cold and its ability to shorten the duration of the illness are profound.
2.    It hastens the healing of wounds
3.    Its role in promoting healthy gums is noteworthy
4.    Ascorbic Acid has been found effective in treating chronic conditions like asthma and cataract
5.    Recent studies have also found Vitamin C to play a crucial role in preventing certain cancers and cardiac disease.

Precautions while Using Artificial Supplements of Vitamin C
The profound benefits that the Vitamin offers has resulted in increased use of artificial supplements available in the form of tablets and capsules. However there are certain precautions that need to be followed,
  1. Don’t consume more than 500 mg of Vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron and can poise a health threat for individuals with kidney disorders and haemochromatosis ( a genetic tendency to store iron)
  2. Vitamin C can alter or distort the findings of medical tests conducted for diabetes, hemoglobin and colon cancer. Hence inform your doctor about your consumption of the supplement
  3.  Excess of Vitamin C is linked with symptoms like diarrhea, flatulence and gassy stomach. Also dosage in excess of 2000 mg per day can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb trace minerals, which in turn can have other detrimental effects

Oranges are a great
source of Vitamin C
Natural Sources of Vitamin C: RDI for Ascorbic Acid
The Required Dietary Intake (RDI) of Vitamin C is about 40 mg per day in adult males and 30 mg per day in adult females. The RDI for smokers is twice the normal RDI, due to the increase demand for anti-oxidants
Using natural sources of Vitamin C is always safer and more beneficial compared to using supplements. The natural sources of Vitamin C include Citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, dark green vegetables, Kiwifruit, strawberries and red capsicums.
A glass of 250 ml of freshly squeezed orange juice can provide up to 125 mg of Vitamin C, which is approximately 3 times the normal RDI for the vitamin.


  1. Vitamin C is surely very important for people. I want to add that Gooseberry Juice is a natural source of Vitamin C and has been widely used as a medicinal drink to treat hair, bones, and skin related problems.

  2. Luteolin supplements is sometimes called as flavonoid that exists in many types of plants including fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. From here: