Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vitamin C: Role in the Body & Benefits

Role in the Body
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is necessary for the development and maintenance of the connective tissue, for healthy gums and wound healing, and it helps fight off infections and boost immunity. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and protects the body's tissues from free radical damage.

Dietary Sources
Good sources of vitamin C include: papayas, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Who is at Risk for Deficiency?
You may be at risk if you smoke, drink alcohol, are stressed, have diabetes, allergies, asthma, a cold or flu, have had recent surgery, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take contraceptives, antibiotics, steroids or aspirin regularly.

Vitamin C may prevent cataracts, heart disease and cancer and is helpful in allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Very high doses of vitamin C may result in diarrhea. Aspirin and vitamin C taken together in large doses may cause stomach ulcers.

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