Feature

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important micronutrient which plays a role in wound healing, the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, as well as working as an antioxidant within the body to help protect and maintain the health of body cells.

The UK government recommends 40mg of vitamin C per day for adults and, as the vitamin cannot be stored within the body, it is required through the diet every day.   If very low levels of vitamin C are consumed continuously over a period of weeks symptoms of vitamin C deficiency Scurvy may appear. 

Symptoms of Scurvy include inflammation of gums, joint pain and poor wound healing. Before the end of the 18th century Scurvy was a deadly disease to many sailors who travelled away for months at a time with very low intakes of vitamin C.  It was not until the mid-1700s a British Navy surgeon conducted experiments and discovered eating citrus fruits cured Scurvy,  although it was not discovered until 1932 this was due to vitamin C.

Very high intakes of vitamin C can cause unpleasant side effects such as stomach pains and diarrhoea, however this usually occurs through supplementation rather than through diet alone.   With a varied diet risk of vitamin C deficiency is low and therefore there is little need for supplementation; however some groups of people may be more at risk of deficiency than others, these include people who smoke cigarettes, people with very little variation in their diet or people with severe malabsorption.

Due to the antioxidant actions vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, there are suggestions that it plays a role with the prevention of diseases such as coronary heart disease and some types of cancer.  There has been a lot of research into this area however, up to now, results have been inconclusive.  Despite this, research has shown an association between higher levels of fruit and vegetable intake and decreased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease so it is still important to consume our five  a day to support good health whilst providing our bodies with the necessary amounts of vitamin C as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.

Eating vitamin C rich foods alongside foods containing non-haem iron, such as broccoli can increase the absorption of the iron and reduce the risk of iron deficiency anaemia.  This is especially important to vegetarians as plant based sources of iron are less available to our body than the same amount of iron from animal sources.

Fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C within the diet including citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli. Potatoes also provide a large amount of vitamin C to our diets and, although not naturally present in grains, many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin C.  Consuming a varied diet, whilst choosing to steam rather than boil our food when cooking,  limiting the amount of vitamin C we destroy, helps to ensure you receive the full benefits of vitamin C.

If you have any questions or need any hep or information you contact me at: emma@zestwellness.co.uk

  • Over 300 residents benefit from town council’s food bank
    At a time when other organisations were still pulling together lists, Prescot Town Council were proud to be one of the first organisations out ... Read more »
  • SK College Group appoints new principal and chief executive
    The governors at SK College Group has announced the appointment of Simon Pierce as the new principal and chief executive of St Helens College... Read more »
  • £50,000 available to community groups in and around Kirkby
    The 2020 Kirkby Neighbourhood Community Fund - a £50,000 fund for projects in and around Kirkby - opens for... Read more »
- Share this page


EDUCATION

Oxford Summer School – a UNIQ opportunity for Freya

A Year 12 Winstanley College student says she feels ‘much more confident’ in making a strong competitive application to The University of Oxford next term after taking part in a week’s digital summer school.

Freya... Read more »



WHAT'S ON

1ST WHISTON SCOUT GROUP - SCOUTS (AGES 10½ AND 14 YEARS)

1st Whiston Scout Group, The George Howard Centre, Whiston L35 3SR. Our Scout leaders are Wes, Kathy and Shaun. The Scout Section is for young people usually aged between 10½ and 14 years. A young person can come in to the Troop at 10 and may... Read more »

BLOG

Coronavirus update and support Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

With so much information in the news about coronavirus it can be difficult to keep track of where you’re allowed to go, who you’re allowed to see and what you’re permitted to do.

What remains unchanged is... Read more »


Posted by
Cllr Sean Donnelly
on September 8th, 2020



More features


This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office