‘Nutritional Facts on Vitamin C’

Vitamin C prevents scurvy, characterized by fatigue or lassitude, widespread connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility…Read More.

Vitamin C is a nutrient naturally present in foods (mainly fruits and vegetables) and is also known by the chemical name of its principal form, L-ascorbic acid or simply ascorbic acid. Unlike most animals humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C. Vitamin C is principally known as a water-soluble antioxidant, preventing the damaging effects of free radicals, and it regenerates other antioxidants in the body including vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; it is also involved in protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing, and it plays an important role in immune function. It also improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods. Vitamin C prevents scurvy, characterized by fatigue or lassitude, widespread connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.

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The RDAs for vitamin C are based on its known physiological and antioxidant functions in white blood cells and
are much higher than the amount required for protection from deficiency. For infants from birth to 12 months, the
FNB established an AI for vitamin C that is equivalent to the mean intake of vitamin C in healthy, breastfed
infants. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C especially citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwi fruit
and tomatoes and tomato juice. Other good food sources include broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe. Some fortified breakfast cereals are also good sources of vitamin C

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Dietary Recommended Intakes for vitamin C were developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences). DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values include:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects. ULs for vitamin C are listed on the inside back cover of this text.

An Article by a Nutrition Student ‘Syeda Ruhina Raushan’

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