Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid):
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) can protect against diseases, including cancer – the American chemist and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling was convinced of this. He took 18 g of ascorbic acid per day, far more than the officially recommended 100 mg of vitamin C per day. The fact that he died of prostate cancer, of all things, is often seen as proof that the high doses of vitamin C were ineffective. Sometimes his high vitamin C intake is even considered to be the cause of his cancer.
The Tasks Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential vitamin. Most people associate it with some protection against colds and strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C has many other tasks in the body:
- Vitamin C strengthens the immune system: Vitamin C is involved in supporting the immune system to protect the body against pathogens, cell degradation, radiation, etc.
- Vitamin C is an important antioxidant: It catches free radicals in the blood, in the brain, in the body cells, and directly in the cell nucleus and makes them harmless. Otherwise, the free radicals would damage cells and tissues.
- Vitamin C strengthens the connective tissue: Vitamin C welds protein and other substances into collagen fibers and thus supports the connective tissue. Collagen ensures the elasticity of skin, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessel walls, as well as the strength of teeth and bones. Scar tissue is also made of collagen, so vitamin C is so important for wound healing.
- Vitamin C serves as vascular protection: Collagen is an essential component of the vascular walls so that vitamin C contributes significantly to healthy and elastic blood vessels. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also protect the blood vessels and prevent cracks from forming in the blood vessel walls. After that, harmful deposits would start there. Vitamin C even has a blood-thinning effect and prevents all diseases associated with arteriosclerosis (high blood pressure, angina pectoris, heart attack, stroke, heart attacks).
- Vitamin C improves calcium and iron absorption: Calcium and iron are better absorbed in conjunction with vitamin C. Vitamin C converts the two substances in the intestine into more readily available forms and thus ensures that they get into the bloodstream more quickly.
- Vitamin C is necessary for the effectiveness of some hormones: The hypothalamus in the brain is the control center for hormone production. Vitamin C is involved in a process in the hypothalamus required for some hormones to be effective. Vitamin C is z. B. important for the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine and the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline.
- Vitamin C detoxifies: Vitamin C activates the liver enzymes that are responsible for breaking down toxins. As a result, it can render toxins such as cyanides, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde and nitrosamines, and nicotine harmless.
Vitamin C And Ascorbic Acid
Vitamin C is often referred to as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is not the same as ascorbic acid. From a chemical point of view, it is correct that vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, i.e., a particular form of ascorbic acid. There are also ascorbic acids that can be converted to L-ascorbic acid in the body, such as dehydroascorbic acid. Dehydroascorbic acid is L-ascorbic acid in combination with oxygen. Both L-ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid are found in foods.
But there are also other ascorbic acids, such as D-ascorbic acid, that have no vitamin C effect because the body cannot use them. The D-ascorbic acid is z. B. used as a preservative in food. Vitamin C is, therefore, an ascorbic acid, but not all ascorbic acid is also vitamin C at the same time.
The vitamin C Requirement By Age Group
Children and adolescents have lower vitamin C requirements than adults:
- 0 to under four years : 20 mg
- 4 to under seven years : 30 mg
- 7 to under ten years : 45 mg
- 10 to under 13 years : 65 mg
- 13 to under 15 years : 85 mg
- 15 to under 19 years : Women 90 mg / men 105 mg
- 19 to over 65 years : Women 95 mg / men 110 mg
Vitamin C Foods
It has to be supplied since the human organism cannot produce vitamin C like plants and most animals (except for the higher primates, fruit-eating bats, and guinea pigs). The best sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. The respective vitamin C values per 100 g can be found in the tables below. To compare, foods that are low in vitamin C but are often eaten are sometimes listed. At the very end of this text, you will also find delicious recipes rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin C In Vegetables And Herbs
Below you will find the vitamin C content of raw vegetables and herbs per 100 g. Parsley and wild garlic contain many vitamin C, but you usually only eat small amounts of them. On the other hand, bell peppers and broccoli can quickly be eaten at 200 g or more. They can also be eaten raw to avoid nutrient loss during preparation.
- parsley : 160 mg
- Wild garlic : 150 mg
- Red peppers : 140 mg
Vitamin C In Fruits And Dried Fruits
Below you will find the vitamin C content of fruits and dried fruits per 100 g. Kiwis, citrus fruits, and strawberries are probably the best choices as you can eat a lot of them and make delicious smoothies from them. Acerola and rose hips, on the other hand, are very rich in vitamin C, but they are either difficult to obtain or processed into food supplements, of which only small amounts are then consumed.
- Acerola cherries : 1700 mg
- Rosehips : 1250 mg
Vitamin C In Nuts And Kernels
Below you will find the vitamin C content of nuts and kernels per 100 g. The sweet chestnut contains the most vitamin C compared to other nuts and seeds.
- Sweet chestnut : 27 mg
- Walnuts : 2.6 mg
Vitamin C In Legumes
Below you will find the vitamin C content of legumes per 100 g. Fresh sugar peas and bean sprouts contain the most vitamin C among legumes.
- Sweet peas, fresh : 25 mg
- Bean sprouts, new : 19 mg
- Chickpeas cooked : 1.1 mg
Vitamin C In Cereals And Pseudo-Grains
Grains, millet, and buckwheat do not contain any vitamin C – amaranth and quinoa, on the other hand, do, albeit in tiny amounts. After cooking, however, there shouldn’t be much left of it.
- Quinoa, raw : 4.3 mg
- Amaranth, raw : 4 mg
The Intake Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is absorbed in the small intestine. From there, the vitamin is absorbed into the bloodstream with the help of transport proteins and distributed throughout the body. Passive diffusion may also play a small role in vitamin C uptake from the intestine, but this must first be investigated more closely.
Vitamin C is then stored in the brain, the eye’s lens, the spleen, and the adrenal gland. During deficiency states, the brain can keep vitamin C exceptionally well to maintain brain functions – at the expense of the other organs. It is assumed that water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C are stored in the body for days to weeks, whereas fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are reserved for several months.
Excess vitamin C is sorted out by the kidneys and excreted in the urine. The amount of vitamins consumed depends on how much the body needs. For example, sick people, like smokers, need more vitamin C to maintain the vitamin C level in the blood. As a result, they have higher vitamin C requirements than healthy people.
Vitamin C Helps Against Viruses
In addition, the best-known effect of vitamin C is that it protects against viruses. Studies suggest, for example, that amounts of 500 mg or more of vitamin C per day can help prevent viral diseases such as colds and flu. These amounts should also be able to alleviate the course of these diseases. In addition to a balanced diet, natural vitamin C supplements such as acerola powder can help you achieve 500 mg of vitamin C per day. Because 1 g of acerola powder already contains 134 mg of vitamin C.
Also Read: Vitamins And Their Function In Your Body