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Learn All About The Vitamin C

Jun 26, 2008
Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it's thought to help prevent more serious complications). Vitamin C is a naturally occurring potent water-soluble antioxidant.

Accordingly, it has been incorporated into a variety of cosmeceuticals designed to protect and rejuvenate photoaged skin . Vitamin C is commonly found naturally in peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip, and mustard greens. The primary function of vitamin C is to assist in the production of collagen, although it is rapidly becoming identified as a key player in detoxifying the body from foreign substances.

Vitamin C is easily lost during storage and cooking. Aging, bruising, overcooking and re-heating all destroy vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant and can quench both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species.

This antioxidant activity diminishes lipid peroxidation, oxidative DNA damage and oxidative protein damage. Vitamin C is also very labile, and the loss of vitamin C on boiling milk provides one dramatic example of a cause of infantile scurvy. The vitamin C content of food is strongly influenced by season, transport to market, shelf life, time of storage, cooking practices, and chlorination of water.

Vitamin C is an excellent source of electrons; therefore, it "can donate electrons to free radicals such as hydroxyl and superoxide radicals and quench their reactivity," states Adrianne Bendich in " Antioxidant Micronutrients and Immune Responses" . Vitamin C is active inside the cell, where it hydroxylates (adds hydrogen and oxygen) to two amino acids : proline and lysine.

This helps form a forerunner molecule called procollagen that is later packaged and modified into collagen outside of the cell. Vitamin C is a natural chelating agent, indirectly protecting us against environmental toxins such as pollution and poisoning of heavy metals including mercury, lead, and cadmium. Vitamin C reinforces the immune system and helps to prevent certain health conditions caused by a depressed immunity.

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is required to synthesize other important connective-tissues including bone, elastin, fibronectin, and fibrillin. It also helps to regulate the body's ability absorb, transport, and store iron. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C is present in breast milk. Vitamin C intake from food is generally considered safe in breastfeeding mothers. Vitamin C is currently produced by mixed fermentation and chemical synthesis. The new enzyme provides the potential to engineer microbes to produce vitamin C by a simpler one-step process.

Vitamin C is involved in every step of its synthesis. Collagen?s final structure is amazing ? "stronger than steel wire of the same weight.".It has recently been shown that vitamin C is itself destroyed in certain reactions involved in the synthesis of collagen.
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