Vitamin C is perhaps one of the most popular, which even children know about. After all, it is strongly associated with the bright and joyful sour citrus fruits, reminds of itself with ascorbic acid in pharmacies. In addition, as doctors emphasize, it is also indispensable for human health. And with his reception, everything is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. So, what do we not know about such a useful element?
Comes only from outside
“Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is a vitamin that is not formed in the human body on its own, but only enters it from the outside, with food. In this regard, it becomes clear that a deficiency can occur with an unbalanced and malnutrition “, – notes Evgeniya Parshina, allergist-immunologist of the highest qualification category, head of the department of allergology and immunology of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Russian Academy of Sciences, assistant of the Department of Immunology of the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University.
What is vitamin C for?
Of course, many are worried about the question of what ascorbic acid is needed for. It is traditionally believed that vitamin C is an immunity helper. However, the spectrum of its action on the body, doctors say, is much wider. So, ascorbic acid is needed for the body for the following purposes:
- To ensure metabolism.
- For the synthesis of important neurotransmitters – norepinephrine and serotonin, which play an important role in the overall life of the body.
- It has antiplatelet (prevent platelets from sticking together and sticking to the walls of blood vessels, which is the prevention of thrombus formation) and antioxidant properties.
- Regulates immunological reactions, that is, it is responsible for increasing resistance to infections.
And he is also responsible for the correct passage of other biochemical and defense mechanisms, notes Evgenia Parshina.
How do I replenish stocks?
Many are interested in how stable vitamin C is and how you can replenish its amount in the body. “Vitamin C is extremely unstable in the external environment and quickly degrades when heated. So, for example, when vegetables or fruits are boiled for two to three minutes, vitamin C is completely destroyed. He doesn’t react except to quick freezing, ”says Evgenia Parshina. This means that in frozen berries, for example, it will be preserved almost in full.
Vitamin C enters the body with plant foods. But, taking into account modern realities, says the immunologist, it becomes clear that vitamin C deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies. This is usually associated with two points, they are also the main problems:
- Compliance with a variety of diets, since this food is not balanced and is associated with exceptions, or the inability to eat fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Highly processed, when products containing such a vitamin are inappropriately processed.
Doctors recommend a specific list of foods that must be used if there is a goal to replenish the level of vitamin C in the body. It includes:
- Bell pepper;
- sea buckthorn;
- cabbage – and in different versions: Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, cauliflower;
It is worth understanding the dosages of such products that contain the daily rate. “The daily requirement for vitamin C is on average 90 mg. So, for example, the daily dose is contained in 225 grams of lemon or 45 grams of black currant, or 200 grams of sauerkraut, ”says Evgenia Parshina.
Who is at risk?
Since vitamin C deficiency is a fairly common thing, everyone should monitor its level and replenish it in time. But there are categories of people who especially need to check this parameter and fill the deficit. So, in the group in particular need of vitamin C are:
- pregnant and lactating women;
- people living in cold climates;
- people working in industries with harmful working conditions;
- people who have such a bad habit as smoking.
“The complete absence of vitamin C in the body leads to the development of a disease such as scurvy. Symptoms include loss of strength, bleeding, loss of hair and teeth6 joint pain. This condition was recorded among sailors in past centuries, ”says Evgenia Parshina. The immunologist also emphasizes that today, critically low levels of vitamin C lead to such a symptom as bleeding gums when brushing teeth. But, of course, to begin with, you should exclude other reasons that may lead to such a problem.
Can there be an overdose?
Against the background of the question of vitamin C deficiency, many may have a question in the opposite situation – are there risks of hypervitaminosis? “Hypervitaminosis is usually not described as excess vitamin C is excreted in the urine. However, now there are situations when people abuse vitamin C, consuming it in the form of dietary supplements or pharmaceutical preparations. This only leads to the development of toxic-allergic reactions and impaired renal function. It should be noted that such problems do not arise with natural consumption of vitamin C with food, ”says Evgenia Parshina. This means that ascorbic acid is extremely important for the human body, but it should only be supplied with natural products.