Ascorbic Acid, L-ascorbic Acid
Vitamin C is the best known vitamin. It is, among other things, needed for the development of connective tissue, the uptake of iron and the maintainance of the immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant: it protects the cells in the body from free radicals. Free radicals play a role in aging processes.
Almost all animal species are able to produce their own vitamin C. Humans are not and are for their vitamin C supply fully dependent on food. The main sources of vitamin C are vegetables, fruits and potatoes. High in vitamin C are citrus fruits, kiwis, berries, strawberries and cabbages.
- Supports the immune system.
- Plays a role in the development of cartilage and collagen. This is important for bones, teeth and the condition of the gums. Collagen also helps to strengthen the skin.
- Helps as antioxidant to protect cells from external influences, such as air pollution, UV radiation and free radicals.
- Helpful with other nutrients: vitamin C increases the iron uptake and helps to maintain the operation of vitamin E.
- Good for memory, concentration, learning performance and state of mind.
- Important for a good condition of the blood vessels.
- Supports energy levels, the nervous system and helps in case of fatigue.
A prolonged serious shortage may lead to decreased immune system, delayed wound healing and eventually scurvy. The symptoms are bleeding gums, subcutaneous and internal bleeding.
Too much vitamin C can be harmful, although the surplus is peed out. An excessive intake can cause intestinal problems or diarrhea and increased discharge of oxalic acid in the urine.
- As food supplement, vitamin C is sold in powder form and in tablet form.
- This vitamin is often added as a preservative to foods; the E number is E300.
- Vitamin C was (re)discovered in 1912 by the Norwegian scientists A. Hoist and T. Froelich.
- The term ‘ascorbic acid’ is derived from the Latin word scorbutus (scurvy). The prefix a- means ‘not, against’.