Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid. This vitamin is crucial for structure of bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It also helps aid in the absorption of iron and plays a key role in resisting infection. Vitamin C is necessary to create collagen, a fibrous protein that is part of the skin, bone, teeth, and ligaments. It also plays an important role as an antioxidant in the body which can protect cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals. The daily recommended intake of Vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
– Citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, key lime, tangerine)
– Bell peppers
– Brussels sprouts
Extreme deficiency of Vitamin C is rare among the United States. However, signs of deficiency include impaired wound healing, swelling, bleeding, and weakness in bones, cartilage, teeth, and connective tissues. Deficiency can also cause scurvy, a disease that can cause dark purplish spots on the skin and spongy or bleeding gums. Vitamin C intakes over the tolerable upper level of 2,000 mg per day may cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.