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Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid


Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and so its daily inclusion in the diet is essential.

Vitamin C performs many vital roles in the body, particularly in tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C forms the proteins used by the body to make blood vessels, skin cells, tendons and ligaments.

Vitamin C is also involved in the repair and maintenance of cartilage, teeth and bones.

This important vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body from the damage caused by free radicals.

Vitamin C Deficiency.

A lack of vitamin C causes a serious disease called Scurvy. For centuries this disease plagued sailors who would spend many weeks or months at sea without fresh fruits or vegetables.

Symptoms of scurvy include exhaustion, swelling in many parts of the body, anemia, and ulceration in the gums and tooth loss.

Vitamin C- Recommended Daily Allowance.

The table below provides the RDA for vitamin C to function properly within white blood cells and as an antioxidant. Far lower doses will prevent deficiency and the onset of scurvy. However for the maximum benefit from your vitamin C supplements the levels shown should be aimed for.

Vitamin C: Recommended Daily Allowance*:

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0-6 months 40 40    
7-12 months 50 50    
1-3 years 15 15    
4-8 years 25 25    
9-13 years 45 45    
14-18 years 75 65 80 115
19+ years 90 75 85 120
*All measurements expressed in mg.

People who smoke require an extra 35mg of vitamin C in their diet compared to non-smokers.