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Importance of Vitamin A

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has several critical functions in the body. It acts as an antioxidant that supports normal growth and development and it plays a role in many metabolic and immunologic activities. 

Food sources 

Vitamin C is naturally present in various foods and synthetically added to supplements. As humans, we are unable to form vitamin C in our bodies so it is essential that we get the vitamin C through our diets. The best food sources of ascorbic acid include citrus fruits, bell peppers, and kiwis. Additional good sources include berries, broccoli, tomato juice, and other green and yellow vegetables. 

Deficiency and Excess Intake 

There are a variety of food sources, particularly fruits and vegetables, that are high in vitamin C therefore, both the risk for a vitamin C deficiency and the need for vitamin C supplementation is relatively low. 

If a vitamin C deficiency does occur then it will result in scurvy in its most severe form. It takes quite some time for a vitamin C deficiency to lead to the point where scurvy develops, your vitamin C intake would have to be extremely low for around a month before this occurs. 

The first signs of a deficiency include: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Malaise (feeling of discomfort) 
  • Gum inflammation 

As the deficiency progresses, the symptoms will worsen and result in: 

  • Impaired collagen synthesis 
  • Weakened connective tissue 
  • Red/ purple/ brown spots on the skin 
  • Bruising 
  • Purpura/ blood spots on the skin  
  • Joint pain 
  • Poor wound healing 
  • Hyperkeratosis (thickening of the outer layer of the skin) 
  • Corkscrew hairs 

A severe deficiency and the development of scurvy results in: 

  • Depression 
  • Swollen gums 
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Loosened teeth or loss of teeth 
  • Capillary fragility 
  • Bone disease 
  • Death 

The risk of consuming too much vitamin C, resulting in toxicity is very low. This is because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body and is removed from the body daily through urine. It is possible to experience some adverse effects from consuming too much vitamin C, usually in the form of supplements. These adverse effects are not serious but just uncomfortable and include things like nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea. 

To optimize your Vitamin C intake based on your gene, make the choice and choose EatwellgxTM+. 

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