Know all about vitamin c! (The most I can Tell about)

Vitamin C Definition

Vitamin C also called L-ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, and available as a dietary supplement. As a supplement, it is used to prevent or treat Scurvy(A disease caused due to lack of Vita C). Animals can synthesize the Vitamin C in their bodies. But we people cannot synthesize it, so it is essential to take it as a diet component.




Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, isolated in 1928, and first made in 1933. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Vitamin C is available as a generic medication and over the counter. In 2015, the wholesale cost in the developing world was about 0.003 to 0.007 USD per tablet. In some countries, ascorbic acid may be added to foods such as breakfast cereal.

Vitamin C Structure:

Vitamin C Structure Bond

This Vitamin is the highly modified version of Phenyle.

Vitamin C Benefits

There are different works and benefits of Vita c, few of them are listed:

  • It biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters.
  • Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing.
  • Involves in protein metabolism.
  • It is an important physiological antioxidant and has shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E).
  • It might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers.
  • Oral vitamin C produces tissue and plasma concentrations that the body tightly controls.
  • It plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

Vitamin C for Skin Whitening:

It also helps in skin whitening, as the function of acid it helps in depigmentation of our skin tissues and due to that, we get a whiter and brighter skin. And it also helps in the build up of skin tissues and make a fairer skin from within. So applying externally and taking it internally can help a lot in brightening our skin tissues and reduce the sun exposure dullness. We can use some of the basic Vita C remedies such as:

  1. Dried Orange Peels And Yogurt ( Dried Orange Peels + Yogurt(unflavoured) )
  2. Milk, Lemon Juice, And Honey Mask ( 1tbsp (milk + honey + lemon)
  3. Citrus Mask ( 1 Egg + 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tbsp grapefruit juice + 2 tbsp sour creme(not fat-free) )

Try to keep all the above masks for about 15 – 20 mins of span after cleaning your face and applying the paste.

Vitamin C Deficiency

Acute vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy. The timeline for the development of scurvy varies, depending on vitamin C body stores, but signs can appear within 1 month of little or no vitamin C intake (below 10 mg/day). Initial symptoms can include fatigue (probably the result of impaired carnitine biosynthesis), malaise, and inflammation of the gums. As vitamin C deficiency progresses, collagen synthesis becomes impaired and connective tissues become weakened, causing petechiae, ecchymoses, purpura, joint pain, poor wound healing, hyperkeratosis, and corkscrew hairs. Additional signs of scurvy include depression as well as swollen, bleeding gums and loosening or loss of teeth due to tissue and capillary fragility. Iron deficiency anemia can also occur due to increased bleeding and decreased nonheme iron absorption secondary to low vitamin C intake. In children, a bone disease can be present. Left untreated, scurvy is fatal.




Until the end of the 18th century, many sailors who ventured on long ocean voyages, with little or no vitamin C intake, contracted or died from scurvy. During the mid-1700s, Sir James Lind, a British Navy surgeon, conducted experiments and determined that eating citrus fruits or juices could cure scurvy, although scientists did not prove that ascorbic acid was the active component until 1932.

Today, vitamin C deficiency and scurvy are rare in developed countries. Overt deficiency symptoms occur only if vitamin C intake falls below approximately 10 mg/day for many weeks. Vitamin C deficiency is uncommon in developed countries but can still occur in people with limited food variety.

Vitamin C Dosage

Intake recommendations for vitamin C and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the 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, which vary by age and gender, 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.

Table 1 lists the current RDAs for vitamin C. 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.

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin C
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–6 months 40 mg* 40 mg*
7–12 months 50 mg* 50 mg*
1–3 years 15 mg 15 mg
4–8 years 25 mg 25 mg
9–13 years 45 mg 45 mg
14–18 years 75 mg 65 mg 80 mg 115 mg
19+ years 90 mg 75 mg 85 mg 120 mg
Smokers Individuals who smoke require 35 mg/day
more vitamin C than nonsmokers.

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Vitamin C Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C (see Table 2). Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes are major contributors of vitamin C to the American diet. Other good food sources include red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe (see Table 2). Although vitamin C is not naturally present in grains, it is added to some fortified breakfast cereals. The vitamin C content of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking because ascorbic acid is water soluble and is destroyed by heat. Steaming or microwaving may lessen cooking losses. Fortunately, many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, are usually consumed raw. Consuming five varied servings of fruits and vegetables a day can provide more than 200 mg of vitamin C. Lemon Juice make at home.

Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Vitamin C
Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent (%) DV*
Red pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 95 158
Orange juice, ¾ cup 93 155
Orange, 1 medium 70 117
Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup 70 117
Kiwifruit, 1 medium 64 107
Green pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 60 100
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup 51 85
Strawberries, fresh, sliced, ½ cup 49 82
Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup 48 80
Grapefruit, ½ medium 39 65
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup 39 65
Tomato juice, ¾ cup 33 55
Cantaloupe, ½ cup 29 48
Cabbage, cooked, ½ cup 28 47
Cauliflower, raw, ½ cup 26 43
Potato, baked, 1 medium 17 28
Tomato, raw, 1 medium 17 28
Spinach, cooked, ½ cup 9 15
Green peas, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 8 13

*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin C is 60 mg for adults and children aged 4 and older. The FDA requires all food labels to list the percent DV for vitamin C. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Nutrient DatabaseWeb site lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing vitamin C arranged by nutrient content and by food name.




Vitamin C Supplements

Supplements typically contain vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, which has equivalent bioavailability to that of naturally occurring ascorbic acid in foods, such as orange juice and broccoli. Other forms of vitamin C supplements include sodium ascorbate; calcium ascorbate; other mineral ascorbates; ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids; and combination products, such as Ester-C®, which contains calcium ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, calcium threonate, xylonate and lyxonate.

A few studies in humans have examined whether bioavailability differs among the various forms of vitamin C. In one study, Ester-C® and ascorbic acid produced the same vitamin C plasma concentrations, but Ester-C® produced significantly higher vitamin C concentrations in leukocytes 24 hours after ingestion. Another study found no differences in plasma vitamin C levels or urinary excretion of vitamin C among three different vitamin C sources: ascorbic acid, Ester-C®, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids. These findings, coupled with the relatively low cost of ascorbic acid, led the authors to conclude that simple ascorbic acid is the preferred source of supplemental vitamin C.




Vitamin C Pills

As an important factor it may be considered which has to be taken externally, there have to be some oral pills for that as many of us try to ignore eating healthy or fresh fruits as they don’t like it. Also, sometimes it becomes necessary to take an exact extra dose of Vita C and that can be done through the pills. In Today’s market, there are many companies making the Vita C pills. Specifically, the deficiency of this vitamin causes the person to take the pills in the extras to cover the deficient amount of that particular Vitamin needed.

There are many pills available for Skin Whitening, but try to avoid that as you can achieve the right amount of Vitamin through your healthy diet that may be considered by fruits and other herb sources. The point to be noted to keep in mind as the dose required by our body are limited and the excess amount of the vitamin which we take gets excreted through urine.

Vitamin C And Cancer

According to the study’s findings, vitamin C is highly effective in the treatment of colorectal cancer, which claims the lives of some 50,000 people annually. And it’s particularly effective in the treatment of colorectal cancers bearing both KRAS and BRAF gene mutations, which happen to respond quite poorly to conventional therapies − including chemotherapy.

Vitamin C Tricks Cancer Tumors into Killing Themselves

Lead author Dr. Lewis Cantley and his team learned that amounts of vitamin C equivalent to what you might find in about 300 oranges is enough to impair the growth of both KRAS and BRAF gene-mutated colorectal tumours. This army of antioxidants literally enters the malignant cells, prompting an attack response marked by so much oxidative stress that the cells burn out and die.

And they do this in a rather interesting way that was previously inexplicable by science. Rather than attack cancer cells directly, vitamin C compounds appear to convert into another oxidized substance known as dehydroascorbic acid or DHA. The DHA tricks cancer cells into accepting it for entry. Only once it gains access, this DHA is converted back into ascorbic acid (a type of vitamin C), causing cancer cells to essentially commit suicide.

“The current study reveals that DHA acts as a Trojan horse,” reports Medical News Today. “Once inside, natural antioxidants in the cancer cell attempt to convert the DHA back to ascorbic acid; in the process, these antioxidants are depleted, and the cell dies from oxidative stress.”

Interaction of Vitamin C and Iron.

Food iron is absorbed by the intestinal mucosa from two separate pools of heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron, derived from haemoglobin and myoglobin, is well absorbed and relatively little affected by other foods eaten in the same meal. On the other hand, the absorption of nonheme iron, the major dietary pool, is greatly influenced by meal composition. Ascorbic acid is a powerful enhancer of nonheme iron absorption and can reverse the inhibiting effect of such substances as tea and calcium/phosphate. Its influence may be less pronounced in meals of high iron availability–those containing meat, fish, or poultry.




The enhancement of iron absorption from vegetable meals is directly proportional to the quantity of ascorbic acid present. The absorption of soluble inorganic iron added to meal increases in parallel with the absorption of nonheme iron. But ascorbic acid has a much smaller effect on insoluble iron compounds, such as ferric oxide or ferric hydroxide, which are common food contaminants. Ascorbic acid facilitates iron absorption by forming a chelate with ferric iron at acid pH that remains soluble at the alkaline pH of the duodenum. High cost and instability during food storage are the major obstacles to using ascorbic acid in programs designed to combat nutritional iron deficiency anaemia.

 Vitamin C in Iron Absorption:

Iron requirements remain the same despite the current lower energy requirement. This means that more iron must be absorbed per unit energy. A higher bioavailability of the dietary iron can be achieved by increasing the content of food components enhancing iron absorption (ascorbic acid, meat/fish) or by decreasing the content of inhibitors (e.g., phytates, tannins). The latter is not feasible considering the recent and reasonable trend toward increasing the intake of dietary fibre. The key role of ascorbic acid in the absorption of dietary nonheme iron is generally accepted. The reasons for its action are twofold: (1) the prevention of the formation of insoluble and unabsorbable iron compounds and (2) the reduction of ferric to ferrous iron, which seems to be a requirement for the uptake of iron into the mucosal cells.

Vitamin C & Sepsis

After hundreds of trials failing to show a benefit of drug treatments for sepsis, could a simple, cheap and effective treatment — high-dose vitamin C — be hiding in plain sight? A respected leader in critical care medicine thinks so, and his hospital system is all in.

The Case for Vitamin C Treatment In Sepsis

Smokers and passive “smokers”

Studies consistently show that smokers have lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels than nonsmokers, due in part to increased oxidative stress. For this reason, the IOM concluded that smokers need 35 mg more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke also decreases vitamin C levels. Although the IOM was unable to establish a specific vitamin C requirement for nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, these individuals should ensure that they meet the RDA for vitamin C.

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