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Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

About

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is water soluble and cannot be stored in our bodies so we have to continuously top it up from our diet. It is easily washed out of food and is broken down when food is cooked or when fresh food is stored for a time. Interestingly most animals can produce their own vitamin C however man, primates and guinea pigs have lost this ability.

What is it used for?

Vitamin C is necessary for a healthy immune system, to fight colds, infections and illness generally. It also helps the healing process of wounds and after surgery. It is essential in the production of collagen which is the most important fibre in connective tissues.

It also helps to protect the fat soluble Vitamins A and E, as well as fatty acids, from oxidation.

Where do we get it?

Vitamin C occurs naturally in many fruits  including oranges, lemons , limes, kiwi fruits and blackcurrant, and vegetables such as peppers, potatoes, brocolli and cauliflower.

How much ?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 60 to 90 milligrams per day. Men should consume more vitamin C than women and individuals who smoke cigarettes are encouraged to consume 35 more mg of vitamin C than average adults. This is due to the fact that smoking depletes vitamin C levels in the body and is a catalyst for biological processes which damage cells. As little as 5-7 mg a day will prevent scurvy!

 



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