Vitamin C Also referred to as ascorbic acid. Functioning as an excellent antioxidant, it has the ability to prevent the harmful oxidation of cells. While vitamin E and beta-carotene are also anti-oxidants, C works excellently with E in this process. Vitamin C is also connected with the health of bones, teeth, hormones, collagen, and blood vessels. It plays an important role in absorbing other important substances, such as iron, calcium, and folacin, and it may help cataracts, cancer, and heart disease. Vitamin C is particularly connected with the strengthening of the immune system and the healing wounds.
When sick with a cold or flu, many people use lozenges as a vitamin C source. However, the sugar in these “remedies” actually weakens the immune system. Supplement levels of vitamin C may prove more effective. A variety of other factors cause the body to need higher C levels as well. These include smoking, growth in children and unborn babies, drugs such as oral contraceptives, and increased levels of stress and anxiety.
Vitamin C helps the body build and maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums, red blood cells, and blood vessels, heal wounds, bruises, and fractures and protect from infection by keeping the immune system healthy. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body so it is important to eat foods or take supplements high in vitamin C.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include: inflamed gums, slow wound healing, stomach disorders, reduced resistance to colds and infections, skin problems.