Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C is probably the best known vitamin. Unlike animals, human beings cannot produce vitamin C themselves. The water-soluble vitamin C is involved in numerous metabolic activities and active throughout the body. For example, it is a strong reducing agent, which means it captures free radicals, caused by smoking, stress, illness or poor nutrition. As a result, cells and tissues are protected and the immune system is strengthened.
Vitamin C is very sensitive to heat, light and oxygen. Vegetables and fruits should be eaten fresh, stored in the dark and processed as little as possible in order to minimize vitamin losses.

Functions in the Body

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Protects cells from oxidative damage
  • Forms collagen (protein building blocks) in the skin, tendons and ligaments
  • Builds tissue, bones and teeth
  • Helps in healing wounds
  • Supports detoxification, such as drugs and substances having a toxic effect

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Weakened immune system, lowered defence against infection, gingivitis, rough dry skin, dry hair, delayed wound healing. In severe cases, development of scurvy (bone disease) can occur.

Overdose

Not known. Vitamin C is harmless even in large amounts (up to 10 grams / day).

Interactions

+ Vitamin E and beta-carotene promote the body’s vitamin C utilization, which optimizes iron absorption.
– Smoking increases the body’s vitamin C requirement to about 35 mg per day. Alcohol consumption, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), contraceptives (“the pill”), antidepressants or diuretic medications also adversely affect the body’s vitamin C levels.

Sources

Vitamin C is found mainly in vegetables and fruits: Black currants, peppers, green vegetables such as broccoli, citrus fruits, and also potatoes provide lots of vitamin C.

Recommended Daily Amounts

(male/female)
Young people 105 mg / 90 mg
Adults 110 mg / 95 mg
Adults over 65 years old 110 mg / 95 mg

«5 a Day» Helps Your Vitamin Supply

Already 50 grams of black currants (cassis), 60 grams of sweet peppers, 90 grams of broccoli or Brussels sprouts provide the body with its daily vitamin C requirement. Eating 120 grams of kiwi, 160 grams of kohlrabi, 170 grams of strawberries, 190 grams of oranges or 200 grams of Savoy cabbage also fulfil the daily vitamin C requirement.