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Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements

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Vitamin C

Why do we need vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of several antioxidants shown to play a key role in the prevention of many types of cancers. Vitamin C maintains collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of skin, ligaments and bones. It also enhances the immune system, helps heal wounds and mend fractures, and aids in resisting some types of bacterial and viral infections.

What are some good sources of vitamin C?

Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mangos, etc.) are great sources of vitamin C, as are many green vegetables (especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green peppers, and peas). Other good sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, potatoes and cabbage.

What can happen if we don't get enough vitamin C?

Scurvy (hemorrages, loose teeth, gingivitis (bad breath), bone disease), bleeding gums, increased chance for infection, colds or respiratory infections can be unpleasant consequences of vitamin C deficiency.

References

  • Johnston CS, Thompson LL. Vitamin C status in an outpatient population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1998:17(4), pp366-70.
  • Agnus DB, Gambhir SS, Pardridge WM, et al. Vitamin C crosses the blood-brain barrier in the oxidized form through the glucose transporters. Journal of Clinical Investigation 1997:100(11), pp2842-2848.
  • Gatto LM, Hallen GK, Brown AJ. Ascorbic acid induces a favorable lipoprotein profile in women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1996:15, pp154-58.
  • Levine M, Ramsey SC, Daruwala R, et al. Criteria and recommendations for vitamin C intake. Journal of the American Medical Association 1999:281(15), pp1387-94.

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