Vitamin C is the first vitamin most people think to take when they are sick. It is the first vitamin to come to mind in citrus fruit and it is even added in skin care products. Vitamin C is considered a powerful and beneficial vitamin that can be obtained as a supplement or through the types of foods that you eat.
Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, and potatoes. The soil quality will greatly affect the amount of vitamin C in a fruit or vegetable. Unfortunately, much of the produce found in grocery stores has less vitamin content compared to produce grown 100 years ago. Because of this fact it is often beneficial to take a vitamin C supplement.
Several important digestive processes can not be accomplished without vitamin C. Carbohydrates require vitamin C in order to be metabolized and protein, lipids and collagen need vitamin C for synthesis. Iron can not be absorbed without the help of vitamin C and the metabolism of folic acid is dependant on vitamin C.
This one vitamin has many different responsibilities to the body on a daily basis. Unfortunately, vitamin C is not stored in the body. Any excess amounts of vitamin C are excreted in urine. This means that without regular daily intake of vitamin C the important responsibilities of this vitamin in the body will not be accomplished and eventually deficiencies and health problems can result. The most common health problem associated with vitamin C deficiency is scurvy.
Generally an adult should have 50 to 100 mg of vitamin C per day. Someone with scurvy should take 150 – 500 mg per day in 1 to 2 divided doses. Taking too much vitamin C can cause side effects that include headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, heartburn, vomiting, and diarrhea.