Facts and myths about vitamin C

Vitamin C is a way for many of us to strengthen the body, which is why we most often reach for it in the period of weakened immunity, eg during the autumn and winter weather or spring solstice. Does taking vitamin C when we have a cold actually affects a faster recovery process? When can you talk about the effectiveness of its operation? We reveal facts and myths about the popular L-ascorbic acid and we answer the role it plays in our body. 

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Vitamin C – what is it responsible for? 

L-ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a chemical compound whose presence in our body is essential for proper functioning. This substance is actively involved in many metabolic and biochemical processes, and it depends, to a large extent, on the absorption of iron, the production of collagen, thanks to which wounds and fractures heal faster, and bruises disappear. In addition, it is a powerful antioxidant, it carries out the recycling of vitamin E – another powerful antioxidant and together these two important vitamins protect us against free radicals. However, attention! Vitamin C must be supplied from the outside – with the right diet or supplementation, because the human body can not synthesize it itself. 

– Deficiencies of L-ascorbic acid in the body may manifest as general weakness, fatigue, brittleness and cracking of blood vessels, worse wound healing, painful joints, decreased immunity or bleeding gums. The correct level of vitamin C should be especially taken care of people who have problems with hypertension, suffer from diabetes, smoke cigarettes and those with chronic stress, because the need for vitamin C increases under stress. In addition, its adequate supply is particularly important in the diet of athletes and intensely training – comments Joanna Pietroń from the Damian Medical Center. 

Only left-handed vitamin C has a healthy effect? 

MYTH. Reading the opinions about vitamin C, we can find very contradictory information about it. One of the repeating myths is that only the left-handed form of this compound has a pro-health effect, whereas a dextrorotatory vitamin C either does not work or is actually harmful. But is left-handed vitamin C even exists? The letter L in the name of this acid (L-ascorbic) refers to the method of naming and determining the optical isomers of chemical compounds. It means only that the group of atoms is located on the left (it is about the chemical structure of the compound) and it has nothing to do with the so-called lewoskrętnością. This is important knowledge, because on the Internet you can often find a left-handed vitamin C, which is often more expensive than a product without such a mark (and the action is exactly the same, because it is the same chemical that has just a few names) . 

Natural vitamin C is better than synthetic? 

FACT. The synthetic form has exactly the same structure and effect as the natural one found in, for example, vegetables and fruits. However, it should be remembered that the advantage of naturally occurring L-ascorbic acid in food products is that with them we supply our body with many valuable nutrients (eg bioflavonoids) that have a positive health-promoting effect. If we choose products rich in vitamin C, we will provide our body with many additional ingredients and minerals. 

The most vitamin C is in lemon? 

MYTH. Remember that the only source of vitamin C is food (we can not create it alone), which is why we should look after a varied, balanced diet. We can not store it either. Many of us have so far been convinced that the most vitamin C can be found in citrus, but this is not true. The main sources of this popular compound are plant products, especially those colorful green and orange (eg green parsley, blackcurrant, paprika). For fruits that are richer in L-ascorbic acid than citrus, we can include acerola, wild rose (eg after the form of juice), currant, sea buckthorn or apples. In addition, we also find it in vegetables – for example in sauerkraut, cauliflower, spinach, onions, parsley and brussels sprouts. It is important that we provide her with the right amount every day with food. 

If we have the opportunity, let’s try to consume the above raw products, because vitamin C is not stable and decomposes under the influence of high temperature (eg during cooking). 

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You can read also: Addition of vitamin C in supplementing arginine improves synthesis of nitric oxide!

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