Vitamin C is anutrient also known as L-ascorbic acid. It is one of the most important vitaminsas, without it, life would not be possible. This nutrient is important to humanhealth as it is an antioxidant that protects the body from damaging freeradicals. Vitamin C is naturally present in foods but it is also available as afood supplement. Fruits and vegetables are considered as the best sources ofvitamin C (National Institutes of Health, 2017). In particular, the followingfoods serve as the primary source of ascorbic acid; citrus fruits,strawberries, tomato juice, peppers, potatoes, spinach, green peas, broccoli,and many more.
Also, vitamin C exist as a food supplement in the form ofascorbic acid. It is imperative to note that vitamin C supplements can be takenin capsules or pill form, or even intravenously in extreme cases, and it is aconstituent of many multivitamins. To receive the full benefits of vitamin C,it’s necessary to take a very high dose, much higher than the recommended dailyvalue. Deficiency of vitamin c often leads to the development of scurvy whichis characterized by bleeding gums, petechiae, easy bruising, joint pain, anaemia,poor wound healing process and impaired bone repair (Chambial et al.
, 2013).The solution to vitamin C deficiency is to take a high dosage of the nutrient,as it is not toxic. Cases of vitamin C overdose are very rare.
One of the most importantbenefits of vitamin C is the prevention of diseases such as cancer. Accordingto National Institute of Health, (2017) studies by Cameron, Campbell, andPauling suggests that vitamin C plays an important role in the reduction ofcancerous cells incidences, due to its antioxidant ability (National Institutesof Health, 2017). However, later on there was research done by Moertel whichdoes not support Cameron, Campbell, and Pauling’s findings.
Moertel carried outa placebo test on 100 patients with colorectal cancer, where patientswere chosen randomly and given either a high dosage of vitamin C or theplacebo. The results did not show any correlation between patients who took ahigh dosage of vitamin C and patients who took the placebo (Moertel et al.,1985). This suggests that vitamin C does not cure cancer but it can helpprevent it. Another advantage ofconsumption of vitamin C is, it can help manage high blood pressure. If leftunattended to, high blood pressure levels can predispose one to cerebrovascularand coronary diseases which are lethal to one’s well-being (British HeartFoundation, 2017).
Studies show aninverse relationship between high blood pressure levels, and the intake ofvitamin C. Low plasma vitamin C is highly associated with stroke attack whichis usually brought about by high blood pressure levels. It is also noted thatvitamin C reduces the blood pressure levels when the dietary fat intake isreduced as well along with boosting the body’s immunity (Science Daily, 2017). Vitamin C fostersthe Immunity of the human body.
Under stressful situations, the adrenal glandsrelease catecholamine hormones which put the body in a “fight orflight” mode. Chronic stress levels trigger the production ofglucocorticoids which suppresses the immune functions, and the resultant effectis a high incidence of illnesses (Fox, 2013 pg 336). That said, studies haveshown that 200mg of vitamin C can serve to reduce levels of stress hormones inthe body. In both stressed and unstressed animals, mega doses of vitamin Chelps produce antibodies that fight germs and viruses that may cause a disease(Walingo, 2005 pg 6).