of the body.  It is one of many antioxidants.


Function of Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen, an important protein that is used
to make skin, tendons, scar tissue, ligaments, and blood vessels. It is necessary for
the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of bones, teeth, and
cartilage.  

Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are nutrients that provide some
protection against various health conditions such as heart disease, arthritus, and
cancer.  Like other antioxidants, vitamin C blocks some of the damage that is caused
by free radicals.  Free radicals are by-products that occur when our bodies transform
food into energy.  Antioxidants also help to reduce damage to the body that is
caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.


Deficiency of Vitamin C:
A large amount of vitamin C is used by the body during any kind of healing process
including: healing from an infection, disease, injury, or surgery. During that period,
extra vitamin C may be needed.

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include dry and splitting hair, gingivitis, bleeding
gums, dry and scaly skin, anemia, decreased wound-healing rates, weakened enamel
of the teeth, easy bruising, swollen and painful joints, nosebleeds, decreased ability to
ward off infection, and possibly weight gain due to slowed metabolic rate and energy
expenditure.

Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.  Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.


Toxicity (Vitamin C Overdose):
Taking high doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, gas, and acid indigestion (upset
stomach).


Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in vitamin C is the safest and healthiest
way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals
should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting
doses of supplements.  Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that
you first consult with their pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications.  If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.


Vitamin C Food Chart (List of Foods High in Vitamin C):

Sweet red pepper, raw, chopped, ½ cup - (141 mg)
Strawberries, whole, 1 cup - (82 mg)
Orange juice ¾ cup - (75 mg)
Orange 1 medium - (70 mg)
Grapefruit juice ¾ cup - (60 mg)
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup - (58 mg)
Grapefruit ½ medium - (44 mg)
Potato, baked, 1 medium - (26 mg)
Tomato 1 medium - (23 mg)



Sources:

American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu

Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
vitamin C can help prevent
conditions such as cardiovascular
disease, strokes, cancer, and the
common cold.  Foods high in
vitamin C include: oranges,
grapefruits, strawberries, sweet
red peppers, tomatoes, and
broccoli.  


What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as
ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble
vitamin needed for the growth
and repair of tissues in all parts
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