(… Continued from Part I)
Benefits of Vitamin C
Just like vitamin E, Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate) is also an anti-oxidant and, thus, protects from free radical damage. Free radicals accelerate aging and are believed to cause, among other things, cancer, arthritis and heart disease. In addition to that, vitamin C also triggers the production of intracellular glutathione – a master antioxidant in your body that has many beneficial effects, including pathogen deactivation
Vitamin C also aids in growth and repair of tissues (it forms a protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels), helps in healing wounds and is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions.
One of the most commonly known function of vitamin C is protection from common cold, however, the results of some studies actually suggest that Vitamin C shortens the duration of the common cold symptoms once they occur, but may do nothing to prevent it. Still, if you already caught cold, loading up on vitamin C may be a great strategy.
Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, with such symptoms as bleeding gums, gingivitis, splitting hair, swollen joints, and decreased immunity – but the likelihood of such deficiency is very low even if you don’t consume a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits that contain it and don’t specifically supplement, because it is so prevalent and is usually added even to processed foods and drinks. However – especially when you need to a lot of it (such as when you need to fight an illness or if you are exposed to events that increase free radical production – such as smoking or constant stress, for instance) – it is also unlikely that you will get enough from whatever food sources you select – so make sure you read the “Recommended Intake” section