vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin that plays numerous roles in the human body. It is known for its antioxidant effects, its role in collagen formation and its importance for the immune system. Vitamin C is water-soluble and must be consumed regularly through diet or supplements as the human body cannot produce or store it.

Functions of Vitamin C

  • Antioxidant effect : Vitamin C protects cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can occur during metabolic processes or from environmental influences such as smoking or UV radiation.
  • Collagen formation : It is crucial for the formation of collagen, an important component of skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and bones. This supports wound healing and maintaining skin health.
  • Improving iron absorption : Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant sources, which is particularly important for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Immune system support : It promotes the function of various immune cells and increases their ability to fight infections and diseases.

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables. The best sources include:

  • Citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruits)
  • Red and green peppers
  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • tomatoes

Recommended daily dose

The recommended daily dose of vitamin C varies depending on age, gender and life circumstances (such as pregnancy and breastfeeding). Adult men are recommended to consume approximately 90 mg per day, while adult women need approximately 75 mg per day. Smokers need an additional 35 mg per day more than non-smokers because smoking reduces vitamin C levels in the body.

Lack and excess

  • Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by fatigue, weakness, joint pain and bleeding gums. Scurvy is rare today, but can occur with a very unbalanced diet.
  • An excess of vitamin C is rarely harmful because excess vitamin C is excreted. However, very high doses (over 2,000 mg per day) may cause stomach upset and diarrhea in some people.

It is generally recommended to cover your vitamin C needs through a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. In some cases, taking supplements may be appropriate, but this should be discussed with a healthcare provider to ensure appropriate dosage.

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