Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid

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Functions

  • formation of intracellular cement substances in a variety of tissues
    • skin, dentin, cartilage, and bone matrix
    • important in healing of wounds and fractures of bones
  • increases resistance to infections
  • facilitates absorption of iron

Deficiency

Mild

  • lowered resistance to infections
  • joint tenderness
  • susceptibility to dental caries, pyorrhea, and bleeding gums

Severe

  • hemorrhage
  • anemia
  • scurvy

Characteristics

  • soluble in water
  • easily destroyed by oxidation
    • heat hastens process
  • lost in cooking
    • particularly if water in which food was cooked is discarded
  • loss is greater if cooked in iron or copper utensils
  • quick-frozen foods lose little
  • stored in the body to limited extent

Good Sources

Natural

  • Most fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fruits
    • citrus fruit, strawberries, cantaloupe
  • Vegetables
    • tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts
  • Meats
    • Raw liver, other organ meats, raw oysters,

Food Quantity mg
Orange 1 medium 70
Green pepper 1/2 cup 56
Broccoli, raw 1 cup 82
Tomato juice 8 oz 44
Raw beef liver 100 gm 31
Raw oysters 100 gm 30

Artificial

  • ascorbic acid
  • cevitamic acid

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

  • Males (11 yrs. and older)
    • 90 mg
    • 50-60 mg
  • Females (11 yrs. and older)
    • 75 mg
    • 50-60 mg
  • Pregnant females
    • 80 mg
  • Lactating females
    • 100 mg
  • Children
    • 45 mg
  • Infants
    • 35 mg
  • Varied values reflect different references

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL)

  • Adults (19 to 50 yrs)
    • 2,000 mg

Intakes above UL may lead to negative health consequences.

Supplementation

  • 250 to 500 mgs a day for smokers.
  • Larger doses may cause diarrhea.

Also see detailed report of Vitamin C.


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