Vitamin C: where it is found, what it is used for and contraindications

The vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a substance necessary for normal growth and health of cells and tissues.Vitamin C is able to cure scurvy and for this reason, it was called ascorbic acid.


Vitamin C performs many important functions in the body. The most important is probably the antioxidant one. it counteracts the damage caused by free radicals. The vitamin C is contained mainly in the fresh food: in some fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, mandarins, kiwi, lemons, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers.The daily requirement of vitamin C , or ascorbic acid , is about 90 mg for men and about 70 mg for women, a quota to be increased if you are pregnant.

Essential functions of vitamin C

  • The vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of connective tissue.
  • The immune system needs ascorbic acid.
  • Vitamin C. is useful for the synthesis of carnitine, and for the formation of thyroxine.
  • Ascorbic acid is part of the iron metabolism of copper
  • In the endocrine system it favors the metabolism of oxytocin, vasopressin and cholecystokinin.
  • Ascorbic acid is involved in keeping the microsomal systems intact (cytochrome P 450 dependent)
  • Intervenes in the conversion of cholesterol into bile salts
  • People with diabetes have a lower availability of this vitamin

Therapeutic use of Vitamin C

  1. Antioxidant action : binds to free radicals by inactivating them and preventing the chain reaction following oxidative processes
  2. Antiviral action: it increases the body’s defenses through the stimulating action on leukocytes. The phagocytic action is stimulated by his presence.
  3. Anti haemorrhagic actions: the effectiveness is demonstrated even against hemorrhages caused by aspirin drugs.
  4. Tonic action on collagen:the components of collagen are sensitive to the presence of ascorbic acid.
  5. Vitamin C is useful for the prevention of osteoarthritis and the loss of elasticity of many tissues, including blood vessels.
  6. Antithrombotic and anti-sclerotic action. This action is related to the effect on collagen: Thrombotic phenomena need, to form themselves, tiny imperfections of the endothelium. Ascorbic acid helps regenerate the endothelium. The elasticity and integrity of the vessels is linked to the presence of vitamin C. An experiment has shown that with 1 g of vitamin C per day decreases the incidence of deep vein thrombosis phenomena by 30%.
  7. Anti-hypercholesterolemic action: with 1 g per day, cholesterol can be reduced from 230 to 160 mg in just one month. If cholesterol is deposited in the arteries, there is an increase in the blood tax, which indicates that vitamin C. detaches cholesterol from the arterial walls.
  8. Detoxifying action : Ascorbic acid has excellent ability to chelate dangerous substances: heavy metals, mercury cadmium lead, toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrites and nitrates, preventing the formation of nitrosamines. The protective action also takes place against alcohol.
  9. Antistress : stress consumes mineral salts and vitamins, including Vitamin C. Supplementation is therefore essential to withstand high states of stress.
  10. Side effects of diabetes : diabetics have a bad use of vitamin C. A high dose supplementation can decrease up to 60% the complications associated with this disease.
  11. Anticancer:Numerous studies have demonstrated the usefulness in cancer prevention.
  12. Other studies have found direct anticancer action

Vitamin C brings many benefits to our body and among them:

Promotes intestinal absorption of iron
It helps the tissues to stay young by contrasting the free radials and helps the health of the teeth and gums
Promotes collagen production to have healthy skin and fight wrinkles
It helps facilitate the healing of fractures and wounds
Treats anemia and urinary tract infections
Constant consumption of vitamin C helps burn 30% of fat while exercising
Lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar levels
It prevents colds and seasonal ailments
It has antibacterial properties and is useful for preventing and treating pimples



Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and does not seem to have toxic effects even at doses much higher than recommended.

It is however advisable not to exceed the recommended daily dose, also because very high doses can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and can favor the formation of kidney stones .

Recommended doses

The recommended daily requirement of vitamin C varies according to age:

Children-teenagers 1-3 years 25 mg
4-6 years 30 mg
7-10 years 45 mg
males 11-14 years 65 mg
15-17 years 75 mg
Females 11-14 years 55 mg
15-17 years 60 mg
males > 18 years old 75 mg
Females > 18 years old 60 mg
Pregnancy 70 mg
Feeding time 90 mg

Contraindications of vitamin C
Vitamin C, producing variations in the urinary pH, can favor the formation of kidney stones in predisposed subjects. Other side effects can affect the gastrointestinal tract, excessive doses can cause heartburn, gastritis and acidity.

by Abdullah Sam
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