Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients needed for the formation of cell walls and connective tissues; it’s indispensible for the health of blood vessels, cartilages, gums, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, helps the immune system fight infections, and possesses antiviral properties. It is also needed for wound healing and has an antioxidant effect. This vitamin is essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, especially in the times of stress.
People with asthma usually experience vitamin C deficiency. Since vitamin C is involved in the processing of fats and cholesterol control, lack of vitamin C in one’s diet may cause the development of atherosclerosis. People suffering from cataract have lower levels of vitamin C in the crystalline lenses and ocular fluid. Women with cervical dysplasia, as well as people suffering from Crohn’s disease or a fistula (an abnormal passageway between two hollow organs) usually don’t get enough of this vitamin. The research on patients with high blood pressure has shown that they lack vitamin C too.
Due to the effect that vitamin C has on cartilages and connective tissues, it’s deficiency is considered a decisive factor in the development of osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is also indispensable for the prevention of gum disease and rehabilitation of tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues.
Lack of vitamin C causes the development of scurvy characterized by swelling and bleeding gums, teeth falling out, hypodermic and joint bleeding. A patient might get contaminated with multiple infections and suffer from ulcers, fatigue, anemia, muscle loss, weakness, fainting, and diarrhea. As a result, the vital organs are affected; and scurvy is fatal if left untreated. In the past centuries, scurvy was a common cause of death among sailors. Although the disease is extremely rare today, those with an unbalanced diet might still get it in mild case.
Vitamin C is water soluble and is contained in fresh fruits (especially in citrus fruits, and in red and black currants) and vegetables.