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Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is an important antioxidant vitamin that is essential for

  • maintaining a healthy immune system
  • building healthy connective tissue, bones and teeth
  • healing wounds and fractures
  • helping absorption of iron

As an antioxidant, adequate intake of Vitamin C appears to decrease the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Vitamin C may reduce the length and severity of colds. New research shows that it may also help to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

No bodily organ stores Vitamin C as a primary function. Our body soon depletes itself of Vitamin C if fresh supplies are not consumed through the digestive system. Eventually this will lead to the deficiency disease known as scurvy (a form of avitaminosis), which results in illness and death if consumption of vitamin C is not resumed in time. A deficiency of vitamin C can cause poor wound healing, bleeding gums, lowered resistance to infection and nosebleeds.

An excess of vitamin C can give a laxative effect, including diarrhoea and gastric upset.

Vitamin C is found mainly in fruits and vegetables. It can be easily lost in storage, preparation, processing and cooking.

Good Sources of Vitamin C

Food / 100g Amount (mg)
Guava 230
Chilli peppers 120-225
Capsicum 120-140
Strawberries 77
Papaya 60
Lightly boiled brussels sprouts 60
Kiwi Fruit 59
Red Cabbage 55
Oranges 54
Lightly boiled broccoli 44

m = 0.001

Recommended Intakes for Adults:

UK Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) - 40mg

USA Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) - 75mg (female), 90mg (male)