Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It was previously believed that vitamin C could cure cold. But studies suggest that vitamin C could not do much to protect against cold or reduce its severity. It helps prevent disease called scurvy which occurs mostly in alcoholics. It also helps in the formation of one important substance called collagen within the body. This collagen which is present in the body tissues plays a very vital role in our body.
Vitamin C is generally known to be a powerful antioxidant. But it has been found that it is not so at all times. Oxidants release free radicals which inhibits with the growth of cells within the body. As antioxidant, it helps to prevent production of free radicals. Sometimes vitamin C is also found to work the other way acting as a reducing agent.
Unlike us, many animals can themselves produce vitamin C in their body. Vitamin C is found in fruits like papaya, pine apples, mango, citrus ones like oranges, lemon etc and also vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum etc. As said before, vitamins are needed only in minimal quantity just a few milligrams. While men need around 90mg, women about 45mg. As each person’s body constitution is different, the requirement varies with body conditions and one’s state of health. While deficiency of vitamin C leads to poor wound healing, bleeding of gums and an overdose may even lead to diarrhea.