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Vitamin C( ascorbic acid): what is it for and what products it contains

Vitamin C Vitamin C( L-isomer of ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble, biologically active organic compound related to glucose.

Its name ascorbic acid was derived from the Latin "scorbutus"( scurvy).Back in the 18th century, long before the discovery of vitamins, it was found that citrus juice contains a substance that prevents the development of scurvy in seafarers during a long voyage.It is known that scurvy is a disease caused by a severe shortage of vitamin C in food( beriberi).

Table of Contents: What are the functions of vitamin C in the body?In what products is vitamin C present?Norms of vitamin C intake Features of vitamin C intake Hypovitaminosis Indications for the beginning of intake of elevated doses of vitamin C Hypervitaminosis

What functions does vitamin C have in the body?

Vitamin C is one of the most effective antioxidants;It protects the body cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.Ascorbic acid is a participant in the process of biosynthesis of collagen and its precursor - substances that are necessary for the formation of full bone and connective tissue.It is necessary for normal hematopoiesis and production of catecholamines and steroid compounds in the body.Vitamin C is able to regulate blood clotting and normalizes the permeability of the walls of small blood vessels.It can prevent the development of hypersensitivity reactions( allergies) and reduce the severity of the inflammatory process.

Vitamin C in the body

Ascorbic acid is necessary for a person to protect his body from the negative consequences of stress factors.It is established that in the "hormones of stress" secreted by the adrenal glands, the concentration of ascorbic acid salts is very high.

Under the influence of this vitamin strengthens the immune system, and the recovery processes are activated.

Important: has reason to believe that vitamin C is an important factor in the prevention of cancer, in particular - malignant tumors of the digestive tract, urinary and reproductive system.

Vitamin C in fruits Ascorbic acid speeds up the removal of heavy metals and their compounds from the body.

Vitamin C prevents the oxidation of cholesterol and its deposition on the vascular walls, thus providing an anti-atherosclerotic effect.Its sufficient content increases the stability of other vitamins - A, E and compounds of group B.

The compound has no property to be deposited, and it is not synthesized in the body, and therefore a person must constantly receive it from the outside by way of alimentary treatment( with food and drinks).What products does vitamin C contain?

Natural sources of this compound are many vegetables and fruits.In products of animal origin, vitamin C contains quite a few.

As ascorbic acid is water soluble and loses its stability when heated, most of this vital vitamin is lost during cooking( thermal) treatment.Containing its vegetables and fruits it is advisable to consume raw.

Sources of animal origin:

  • beef and pork liver;
  • kidneys and adrenal glands of animals;
  • mare's milk;
  • koumiss;Goat milk.
  • goat's milk.

What foods are vitamin C

Plant sources:

  • leafy greens( salad, spinach);
  • radish;
  • horseradish;
  • onion( green and onion);
  • Citrus( oranges, lemons, etc.);
  • cabbage( any grades);
  • sweet pepper( "Bulgarian" and spicy cayenne);
  • tomatoes;
  • potatoes( only baked in the skin);
  • sorrel;
  • aubergines;
  • green peas;
  • apples;
  • currant;
  • peaches;
  • melon;
  • apricots( including dried ones - dried apricots);
  • "sea kale".

Note: is very high in the content of "ascorbic" in fruits of ashberry, dogrose and sea-buckthorn.Vitamin drinks from them allow you to cope with seasonal( winter-spring) hypovitaminosis.


Plants that can be used to prepare vitamin infusions:

  • burdock( root);
  • peppermint;
  • plantain;
  • yarrow;
  • pine needles;
  • raspberry( leaves);
  • violet( leaves;
  • fennel( seeds);
  • nettles

Long-term storage of food and biochemical processing negatively affect the level of vitamin C. In food, one of the few exceptions are dried hips, in which up to1 year and more, an exceptionally high concentration of ascorbic acid( up to 0.2%) is preserved.Hearth contains a lot of other useful substances - vitamins K, R, tannins, sugars, etc. Of the fruits make syrup( it can beBuy in a pharmacy), which will help to easily defeat hypovitaminosis.

Important: from cooked foods, the "record" for the amount of preserved vitamin C is boiled white cabbage. When cooking for 1 hour( no more!)In it remains 50% of "ascorbic"( relative to the original level). About the same amount of vitamin remains in freshly prepared potato soup.

Vitamin C intake rates

An increased amount of "ascorbic" is required for patients with diabetes mellitus, as well as for those taking acetylsalicylic acid preparations, antibiotics and oral contraceptives.

Important: found that the need for vitamin C is significantly increased in people who suffer from nicotine addiction;In addition, the combustion products of tobacco impair the assimilability of the useful compound.Smokers, as well as those who regularly consume alcohol, it is recommended to consume vitamin C by 20-40% more.

It is recommended to consume a lot of vitamin C for meat lovers.This is necessary to reduce the negative effects of nitrogen compounds, in a large number of animals present in muscle tissue.Particular attention should be paid to this vitamin to those who prefer meat in the form of sausages and smoked products.As one of the preservatives in the manufacture of such products, a nitrogen-containing compound of nitrate is often used, which can be converted into nitrosamines provoking the development of malignant tumors in the stomach.

Daily rate depends on a number of factors, including:

  • climate;
  • ecological situation in the region;
  • occupational hazards;
  • smoking( including passive);
  • consumption of alcohol;
  • age;
  • floor;
  • pregnancy;
  • lactation.

Images Note: studies have shown that in hot or very cold climates an average of 30-50% more ascorbic acid is required.

An average adult person needs to consume 60-100 mg of vitamin C per day. If ascorbic acid preparations are prescribed as part of complex therapy of diseases, the usual daily dosage is from 500 to 1500 mg.

During pregnancy, women need to consume at least 75 mg, and during breastfeeding - at least 90 mg of vitamin C.

Vitamin C in pregnancy

Breastfeeding from birth to six months requires 30 mg, and babies from 6 months to 1 year- 35 mg of vitamin C per day.Children from 1 to 3 years are required 40 mg, and from 4 to 10 years - 45 mg daily.

Features of taking vitamin C

It is advisable to divide the recommended daily dose into several methods, i.e., use the principle of "fractional nutrition".The human body quickly consumes water-soluble vitamins and quickly excretes "excess" in urine.Thus, it is much better to maintain a constant concentration of ascorbic acid, taking drugs or consuming fruits and vegetables in small portions throughout the day.

With the course of vitamin therapy, it is recommended to increase and decrease single and daily doses as smoothly as possible.


Hypovitaminosis Hypovitaminosis for vitamin C was detected in 60-80% of preschool and primary school children.Almost the same data are obtained from the results of studies conducted in various regions of the Russian Federation.

Important : The deficiency of this compound is especially pronounced in winter and spring, when there are few fresh vegetables and fruits in stores, and in vegetable products that are sold all year round, ascorbic acid is much less than in freshly collected.

Hypovitaminosis leads to a decrease in immunity, resulting in a 25-40% increase in the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.Due to a decrease in the phagocytic activity of leukocytes relative to foreign bacterial agents, the diseases proceed much more severely.

Causes of hypovitaminosis can be divided into endo- and exogenous.

Internal causes are a violation of absorption and the ability to assimilate ascorbic acid.

The external cause is a prolonged shortage of vitamin with food.

In case of vitamin C deficiency, the following culinary manifestations of hypovitaminosis can occur:

  • increased gingival hemorrhage;
  • abnormal mobility and loss of teeth;
  • easy appearance by bruise;
  • violation of regeneration( slow healing of cuts and scratches);
  • lethargy and decreased muscle tone;
  • alopecia( hair loss);
  • dry skin;
  • increased irritability;
  • reduction of pain threshold;
  • arthralgia;
  • general discomfort;
  • is depressed.

Note : teeth may loosen and fall out as resorption of bone tissue of the alveoli( dental holes) occurs, and insufficient synthesis of collagen leads to a weakening of the fibers of the periapical ligaments. Bruises on the body are formed almost by themselves due to the fragility of the walls of the capillaries.


Indications for the beginning of intake of elevated doses of vitamin C

Indications for taking ascorbic acid in the form of preparations are:

  • prevention of hypovitaminosis;
  • treatment of hypo- and avitaminosis;
  • gestation period;
  • Breastfeeding;
  • active growth;
  • frequent psychoemotional stresses;
  • considerable physical exertion;
  • general overwork;
  • period of convalescence after illness( to strengthen immunity, accelerate recovery and restore the body);
  • gum bleeding;
  • nasal bleeding;
  • intoxication;
  • infections( including acute respiratory infections);
  • liver pathology;
  • slow healing of wounds and fractures;
  • general dystrophy.

Important: in rare cases, when taking high doses of vitamin C, hypersensitivity reactions( allergies) may develop.

For prophylactic purposes, it is recommended to take 0.25 g of vitamin C during meals( the frequency of reception is 4 times a day).When symptoms of a cold appear in the first 4 days from the onset of the disease per day, you need to consume 4 g of "ascorbic".Then the dose can be gradually reduced to 3, and then to 1-2 g per day.


In most cases, the body tolerates even very high doses of this biologically active compound, but diarrhea can not be ruled out.

With parallel intake with preparations of salicylic acid, vitamin C can provoke the development of gastritis and stomach ulcers.It is advisable to consume it in the form of calcium ascorbate, which has a neutral pH.

In patients with genetically determined deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, large doses of ascorbic acid can lead to the destruction of red blood cells, which threatens serious complications.

It is not recommended to take vitamin C together with antacids, which include aluminum compounds.

Large doses of vitamin C reduce the absorption of B12.

Contraindication to the use of "shock doses" are diabetes, increased blood coagulability, and a tendency to thrombosis.

Important: prolonged course treatment with vitamin C preparations can cause oppression of insulin production by the pancreas.

About the rules for taking vitamin C in this video review tells the doctor:

Plisov Vladimir, dentist, phyto-therapeutist
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