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Vitamin C ( Ascorbic acid)

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Vitamin C ( Ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It is the most sensitive of all vitamins. It is easily destroyed by heat, alkalis, drying, storage, cooking in iron vessel, by washing vegetables in water. Vitamin C is absorbed from the intestine. Ascorbic acid is a white crystalline substance. 

Sources of vitamin C:

1. Plant sources: All fresh fruits contain vitamin C. Citrus fruits, amloki, lemon, tomato, guavas,grape fruits, blackberry, straw berry etc.

2. Fresh vegetables : Vegetables especially green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C. e.g, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, cereals etc. Roots and tubers are poor sources of vitamin C. 

3. Animal sources : Meat and milk contain very small amounts of vitamin C. 


Functions of vitamin C :

1. One of the principle function of ascorbic acid is the formation of collagen, an abundant protein that forms that intercellular substance in cartilage, bone matrices, dextrin and the muscular epithelium. 

2. Vitamin C is important for wound healing and increases the ability to withstand the stress of injury and infection. 

3. Ascorbic acid also plays an important role in other hydroxylation reaction. 

4. Conversation of tryptophan to serotonin,  an important neurotransmitter and vasoconstrictor,  and formation of norepinephrine from tyrosine involves hydroxylation reactions which require ascorbic acid. 

5. Conversation of cholesterol to bile acids is another hydroxylation reaction that requires vitamin C. 

6. Ascorbic acid is an important antioxidant and thus has a role in the protection of vitamin A and E and the polyunsaturated fatty acids from excessive oxidation. 

7. Ascorbic acid enhances iron absorption by reducing ferric iron to ferrous iron across the intestinal mucosa. 

8. It may also bind with iron to form a complex which facilitates transfer of iron across the intestinal mucosa. 

9. In the circulation ascorbic acid aids in there release of iron from transferring so that it can be incorporate into tissue ferretin.


Effects of deficiency of vitamin C :

1. Scurvy. 

2. Listlessness. 

3. Fatigue. 

4. Bleeding gums.

5. Fleeting joint pain

6. Muscle pains.

7. Person has difficulty in breathing. 

8. Internal bleeding. 

9. Person becomes susceptible to infection. 

10. Delayed wound healing occurs.

11. Malformation of bone.

12. Degeneration of muscle. 

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