When we hear vitamin, we often think of vitamin C, necessary for many functions of our body. Want to know more about this famous vitamin? The following explanations will help you better understand vitamin C to cover your needs optimally!
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin (i.e. water soluble) and very little stored in the body (approximately 1500mg stored). As we are not able to synthesize it and very little able to store it, it is essential to bring it to our body on a daily basis through food. There is very little risk of toxicity with vitamin C since if our consumption exceeds our needs, it will be eliminated in the urine.
Why is vitamin C essential for our body?
The main roles of vitamin C in our body
Vitamin C has a strong antioxidant power
Vitamin C first has an antioxidant role, that is to say, it helps to capture free radicals and neutralize them. Free radicals are unstable molecules after a reaction with oxygen (which causes them to lose an electron). To become stable again, these molecules will seek their missing atom in a neighboring molecule. It is a chain reaction that can lead to the oxidation of our cells, sometimes leading to cell death and therefore premature aging of our cells. Pollution, smoking or even pesticides can promote the emergence of free radicals.
Antioxidants therefore make it possible to stabilize free radicals and several studies have notably demonstrated their benefits in the prevention and management of certain pathologies such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s).
Vitamin C helps strengthen our immune defenses
C also helps strengthen our immune system, particularly by playing a role in the production of antibodies, thus protecting our body from pathogens.
Vitamin C promotes iron absorption
it also promotes the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract. One of the possible explanations is that it facilitates the reduction of iron in the Fe3 + form to Fe2 +, a necessary process because iron can only cross the intestinal barrier in the Fe2 + form.
Iron is a building block of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all of the organs in our body. If there is a decrease in vitamin C, the iron will be less absorbed and therefore there will be a greater chance of contracting anemia (decrease in the quality and quantity of red blood cells).
Vitamin C participates in the synthesis of neurotransmitters
it is also an essential cofactor for the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as adrenaline or dopamine which allow us to have better attention, motivation and to give us a boost of energy thanks to their stimulating and anti-fatigue action!
Vitamin C participates in the formation of collagen
It also promotes the formation of collagen, a protein that acts as the body’s “framework”. And is found in the skin, bones, cartilage, joints, blood vessel walls, muscles, and even tendons. Collagen is therefore very useful for healing and preventing the aging of all tissues, especially the skin, by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and providing it with firmness and a smooth appearance. In addition to that, it gives elasticity to blood vessels which limit cardiovascular disease.
This list is not exhaustive since vitamin C participates in more than a hundred functions in the body! It is therefore essential and the risks resulting from a deficiency in this vitamin can be very serious.
The risks of vitamin C deficiency
The recommended intake of vitamin C is 110 mg / day; deficiencies, even if they are rare, can therefore occur when our diet is poor in this vitamin. You should know that certain behaviors or physical conditions increase the need for vitamin C such as being pregnant or breastfeeding, smoking, having a high fever, having digestive problems over a long period, have severe burns or in the case of hyperthyroidism.
Mild vitamin C deficiency leads to physical fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. But severe deficiency can lead to scurvy, a rare disease characterized by edema and bleeding that can be seen in people who are alcoholics or undernourished.
The best sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C, therefore, plays many functions in our body and must be provided through our food. It is mainly found in raw fruits and vegetables. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the foods richest in vitamin C:
- Vitamin C intake per 100g of food
- Guava (228mg)
- Kale (145mg)
- Red pepper (144mg)
- The lemon (129mg)
- Broccoli (106mg)
- Brussels sprouts (103mg)
- Red fruits (87mg)
- The kiwi (82mg)
- The strawberry (54mg)
To cover your vitamin C needs, you must therefore eat a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables! Food supplements fortified with vitamin C can also be a good option to avoid deficiencies. Be careful though, vitamin C is very sensitive to heat, air, light and water. The method of cooking and storage are therefore very important to preserve the maximum amount of vitamin C. For example, at room temperature, in a day, half of the vitamin C concentration in a food may be lost. High temperature cooking and freezing will also significantly alter the vitamin C content of the food.
In summary, vitamin C is a “super-vitamin” useful for a lot of functions in our body! To cover our needs, don’t hesitate to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and vary the way foods rich in vitamin C are cooked, favoring raw or steamed consumption. At the same time, you can also turn to our Energy food supplement formulated with vitamin B group, vitamin C, Ginseng. And Guarana to help you fight effectively against fatigue and regain all your energy!