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Vitamin C

Interesting facts about vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin
    Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is easily absorbed in the body (as most of the body is made of water and so are most of the foods eaten), but some of it may be lost in cooking.
  • Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid
    Vitamin C is also known as "ascorbic acid", which basically means "acid that prevents scurvy", which is a vitamin C deficiency condition.
  • Vitamin C is required to better absorb iron and folic acid (folate)
    Vitamin C is required for the body to better absorb iron (especially the plant form of iron, called haeme iron) and folic acid (folate) from foods eaten rich with these nutrients.
  • Many medications as well as alcohol deplete vitamin C
    Many medications and alcohol deplete vitamin C stores in the body, so these need to be replaced through extra supplementation. People taking any types of medications need to seek the advice of their doctor before trying vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C is required for the body to better absorb iron (especially the plant form of iron, called haeme iron) and folic acid (folate) from foods
  • People that smoke cigarettes need more vitamin C
    People that smoke cigarettes need extra vitamin C because of the damaging effects of the substances that are in the tobacco. Studies have shown that vitamin C has a blocking effect on one of the carcinogenic substances in cigarettes (benzopyrene) to stop it from causing cell mutation and development of cancer. Research suggest that smokers may need up to three times more vitamin C than people who do not smoke just to combat the adverse health effects of the cigarettes - the same applies to passive smokers.
  • Vitamin C can interfere with many test results
    Vitamin C, especially at doses larger than 200mg, seems to affect the results of certain medical tests, including (but not limited to): blood glucose levels, calcium oxalate blood levels, blood in the stools, haemoglobin levels in the blood. Vitamin C supplements should be stopped at least 3-4 days prior to undergoing these tests and also during the tests duration. People that are still taking vitamin C at the time they are undergoing these types of medical tests, will have incorrect test results.

References

  1. Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999, Vol. 69, No. 6, 1086-1107
  2. Griffith HW. Minerals, Supplements and Vitamins - The Essential Guide. 2000 Fisher Books, USA
  3. Hornig B, Arakawa N, Kohler C, Drexler H. Vitamin C Improves Endothelial Function of Conduit Arteries in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure. Circulation Journal. 1998;97:363-368
  4. Lieberman S, Bruning N. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book - Using Supplements for Optimal Health. 3rd Edition. Avery Publishing, New York, 2003
  5. Morris MC, et al. Vitamin E and vitamin C supplement use and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disco, 1998. Vol 12(3): 121-6
  6. Osiecki, Henry, The Nutrient Bible 2002, BioConcepts Publishing
  7. Packer JE, Slater TF, Wilson RL. Direct observation of a free radical interaction between vitamin E and vitamin C. Nature Journal 1979. Vol 278, 737-738
  8. Patel BD, Welch AA, Bingham SA, Luben RN, Day NE, Khaw KT, Lomas DA, Wareham NJ. Dietary antioxidants and asthma in adults. Thorax. 2006 May;61(5):388-93
  9. Ting HH, et al. Vitamin C Improves Endothilium-dependant Vasodilation in Patients with Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. J. Clin. Invest 1996. Vol 97 (1); 22-28

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