Vitamin C – an excellent antioxidant for your body
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, unable to be synthesized by humans (many species of plants and animals synthesize this vitamin, but humans and other animal species do not), so we need to ingest it through diet and/or through supplementation.
Vitamin C can be found in fruits like oranges, lemon, strawberries, mango, and cherry, and is also found in green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. During the cooking process or processing of these foods, the properties of this vitamin can be lost, so supplementation is often recommended. The instability of this vitamin combined with its relatively poor intestinal absorption and the rapid excretion of the body reduces its physiological availability.
The recommended daily dose is 100 mg, but in situations of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or infections, a higher amount is required.
Vitamin C participates in cellular processes, and is also important in the biosynthesis of catecholamines; prevents scurvy (a fatal disease caused by lack of ascorbic acid); it is important in the defense of the organism against infections and fundamental in the integrity of the blood vessel walls; it is essential for the formation of collagen fibers found in practically all tissues of the human body (dermis, cartilage, and bones).
Vitamin C fights excess free radicals in cells by performing numerous physiological functions such as antioxidant activity, immune system modulation, collagen synthesis, carnitine biosynthesis, and synthesis of hormones, amino acids, and neurotransmitters. The benefits of Vitamin C in oxidative stress are significant in combating free radicals, generated through normal metabolism or through exposure to toxins.
L-ascorbic acid is vital for the functioning of cells, its role in the metabolism of connective tissue has been recognized for a long time, but, especially since the 16th century, when scurvy began to be prevented with citrus juice.
The body requires Vitamin C for normal physiological functions. This vitamin assists in the metabolism of tyrosine, folic acid, and tryptophan. It can lower blood cholesterol levels and contribute to the synthesis of amino acids, such as carnitine and catecholamine, which regulate the nervous system—being indispensable for the growth of tissues and the healing of wounds. It acts as an adjuvant in the formation of neurotransmitters and increases the absorption of iron in the intestine.
High doses of vitamin C are used to treat and prevent a large number of diseases such as diabetes, cataracts, strokes, heart disease, and cancer. On the other hand, a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to anemia, scurvy, infections, bleeding gums, muscle degeneration, poor wound healing, capillary hemorrhage, and nervous disorders.
The human body naturally protects itself by using antioxidants to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in the body, especially in the skin. With all the qualities and benefits of Vitamin C, it is important to continue to investigate all its implications, especially in its topical form, at the cutaneous level.