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Saturday June 15, 2024

Why is Vitamin C so important for us?

Vitamin C works as antioxidant which is necessary for mental health, mood, and energy levels in body, says Naidoo

By Web Desk
March 19, 2023
In this picture, strawberries and blueberries among other fruits can be seen which are of rich sources of Vitamin C. — Unsplash/File
In this picture, strawberries and blueberries among other fruits can be seen which are of rich sources of Vitamin C. — Unsplash/File

Voicing concerns over insufficient intake of crucial water-soluble Vitamin C, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that people are not consuming enough vitamins and minerals which are the basis of a healthy human body and suggested that if some measures are taken, this deficiency can be overcome, according to a report published in USA Today.

While highlighting the stats regarding the insufficient levels, CDC noted that iron deficiency in 20% of pregnant women has been witnessed, whereas deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are seen in Black and Hispanic women adding that children less than five years of age are suffering from deficiencies of vitamins and minerals.

The deficiencies are due to one's body not producing vitamins and minerals within the body which ought to be intake through various sources such as food, fruits, including supplements. The most important vitamin needed is Vitamin C.

Why is Vitamin C important?

As a water-soluble nutrient, Vitamin C forms blood vessels, muscles and collagen in the bones. It also fights against diseases, and solar radiation, therefore, strengthening the immunity system of the body. It also helps store iron.

Walter Willett, MD, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health said that Vitamin C helps in maintaining strong tissues and the immune system.

This vitamin is essential to produce neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps to maintain mood and cognition, said Uma Naidoo, MD, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the author of "This is Your Brain on Food."

She also highlighted that this works as an antioxidant in the body which is necessary for mental health, mood and energy levels of the body as a whole.

People who are recommended to take Vitamin C

Those who smoke, and those with gastrointestinal complications or cancers suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin C. Children also face insufficient levels because they do not consume a diet rich in this vitamin.

Its severe deficiency may cause scurvy, gum bleeding, pains in joints, and fatigue. People with a deficiency may see late wound healing and are generally exposed to infections.

What are benefits of taking Vitamin C in supplement?

Although there are a number of Vitamin C-rich food, people also intake this via oral supplements which come typically as chewable tablets or as part of multivitamin tablets.

Research has revealed that a Vitamin C supplement daily can increase the antioxidant level by up to 30% protecting the body from harmful materials, also helping to manage high blood pressure, and iron deficiencies and mitigate chronic and heart diseases.

Taking Vitamin C on daily basis good for health?

For adults, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C for men aged 19 and above is 90 mg but it is 75 mg for women. For women breastfeeding or pregnant should raise the daily intake to 85 mg. Those people who smoke should also consume an additional of 35 mg beyond recommendations.

Willet and Naidoo have stated said while noting the excess intake of vitamins that may cause intoxication that it is relatively safe from other vitamins and minerals because it is water soluble and the cases of intoxication are very rare. However, the symptoms of excessive intake of Vitamin C include nausea, kidney stones and diarrhoea.

From where to get Vitamin C?

Citrus fruits such as oranges, berries, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons, cucumber and cabbage contain high levels of Vitamin C. Brussels which are considered one of the rich sources of Vitamin C contains 75 mg of Vitamin C whereas the other rich source of broccoli has 80 milligrams in it.

Willet has suggested having a healthy diet for sufficient Vitamin C which comprises fruits and vegetables.