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Vitamin C as Ascorbic Acid


Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that was recognized as a cure for scurvy long before it was isolated in 1933. In recent years, it has received a great deal of public attention as a cure for the common cold. But vitamin C does much more than just prevent scurvy and colds.

For example antioxidant, it delays ageing and prevents age-related diseases from arthritis to Parkinson’s disease; alleviates allergies; and as an anti-pollutant, antihistamine, it it eliminates toxins from the body.

However, the chief function of vitamin C is the production of collagen, the structural protein that holds our bodies together. As such, it hastens the healing of wounds, prevents bleeding gums and strengthens capillaries and blood vessels, preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Collagen is also the subcutaneous ‘cement’, and facial wrinkles can be a sign of a life-long deficiency in vitamin C. Vitamin C is also a powerful booster of the immune system and is well known for its ability to increase resistance to infection and disease by increasing the production of anti-bodies and interferon, which fight microbes and viruses. Scientific studies have confirmed that megadoses of vitamin C can reduce the risk of a wide range of cancers, and also inhibit tumour development and prolong the survival of cancer patients.

In dosages of at least 1,000 mg a day, vitamin C helps to lower cholesterol by speeding its conversion to bile. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron, preventing anaemia and provides protection against the devastating effects of smoking and alcoholism.

Deficiency symptoms of vitamin C include susceptibility to colds, infections and allergies, easy bruising and the slow healing of wounds, inflamed gums and defective teeth, fatigue and anaemia, and nervousness, anxiety and depression. Among the best natural sources of the vitamin are fresh citrus fruits, peppers, guavas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage papaya and kiwi. The natural vitamin C in fruits and vegetables is highly perishable as the vitamin is unstable and disintegrates, not only in cooking, but also in peeled fruits and vegetables.

The Recommended Daily Allowances of vitamin C are 60 mg for adults and 45 mg for children. However, these are ridiculously low dosages and the main effect is to prevent scurvy. For optimal benefits, doses of a few grams a day are recommended. Vitamin C tablets that contain bioflavonoids are preferable

source : Nutrients A-Z

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