Vitamin C's Role in the Body
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the
growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's
involved in many body functions, including formation of
collagen , absorption of iron, the immune system, wound
healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth .
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that can protect against
damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as
well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke.
Free radicals can build up and contribute to the development
of health conditions such as cancer , heart disease , and
Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess amounts are
excreted), so overdose is not a concern. But it's still important
not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day
to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea .
Water-soluble vitamins must be continuously supplied in the
diet to maintain healthy levels. Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and
vegetables raw, or cook them with minimal water so you don't
lose some of the water-soluble vitamin in the cooking water.
Vitamin C is easily absorbed both in food and in pill form, and
it can enhance the absorption of iron when the two are eaten
Deficiency of vitamin C is relatively rare, and primarily seen in
malnourished adults. In extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy --
characterized by weakness , anemia , bruising, bleeding, and