Vitamin C is one of the best-known and most popular vitamins. Vitamin C is the vitamin everyone runs to in case of a cold or a flu.
However, Vitamin C cannot cure a flu nor a cold, but it can help prevent complications from these conditions, like pneumonia or other lung infections, and it reduces the time necessary to heal.
Vitamin C is vital in fighting stress. Stress causes many conditions and disorders and weakens the immune system. This vitamin is also very sensitive to stress, so alcohol, smoking and obesity significantly reduce its levels in human body.
There have been several studies on the effects of Vitamin C as a preventive measure against stroke, but the results are conflicting. One of the studies, however, showed that people with highest concentrations of this vitamin have reduced the risk of a stoke by 42 percent.
Skin is another part of the body that can benefit from Vitamin C. The skin is exposed to many harmful environmental elements, and this vitamin helps fight them. Different studies have shown that Vitamin C prevents the signs of skin aging like wrinkles and dry skin, and provides a more youthful, fresh and smooth look.
Vitamin C may also prevent macular degeneration (damage to the retina of the eye in elderly people), reduce inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
This vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant. This is particularly important in modern times when people are exposed to many sources of chemicals and pollutants, from cigarette smoke, smog, chemically unclean water, to UV rays. The build-up of harmful molecules called free radicals can lead to diseases and conditions like cancer, coronary disease and arthritis. Vitamin C helps in their prevention by fighting the free radicals.
Vitamin C is necessary for the normal growth and development of all body tissues and it is vital in many functions of the human body, like the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, healing and it improves the immune system as well.
The overdose from Vitamin C is not possible since excess amounts leave the body through the urinary tract. However, the dose that should not be exceeded is two grams a day. More that that may cause digestive problems and diarrhea.
This vitamin is equally absorbed from foods and from supplements, but it is still better to take it from foods, but all experts agree that fresh fruit and vegetables should not be replaced with a simple supplement tablet.
The foods that have a highest content of Vitamin C include citrus fruit, berries, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, white and sweet potato, cantaloupe, papaya, mango and tomatoes.
A simple way to provide enough Vitamin C is to eat at least one serving of fresh fruit a day, one fresh salad with mixed vegetables, to add a handful of berries to the cereal in the morning, or to add mashed fruits or vegetables in muffins, soups and meatloafs. A plate of sliced vegetables with a low-fat dip is both a healthy and a dietary snack.
However, studies have shown that most people do not take enough Vitamin C through food, so it is advisable to take supplements on a daily basis. A multivitamin might be the best idea, since Vitamin C is not the only nutrient important for health and normal development.