Virtually, most fruits like Citrus (oranges, tangerine, lemons, grapes, limes), water melon, green pepper etc, and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C.
Due to the low storage capacity of the body for the vitamin, a regular and adequate intake is required to prevent its deficiency in the body.
The recommended daily allowance, RDA per day varies for both age and sex.
However most supplements have values above the RDA, but as long as it does not exceed the proposed upper limit (UL) for that age group, an overdose of Vitamin C is not likely to happen.
Generally, Vitamin C is required for normal physiological function of the body. It is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues. It plays an important role in bone formation, wound healing, maintenance of healthy gums and It is used as therapeutic agent in many diseases and disorders.
Being an electron donor, it is capable of carrying out redox reactions because it is a reducing agent.
As a result, it is a known potent antioxidant, due to its ability to readily donate electrons, thus protecting important biomolecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids) from oxidative stress and damage ie damage by radicals called oxidants which are generated either during normal cell metabolism or through exposure to toxins and pollutants.
The potency of Vitamin C in removing oxidants, is one of its wonderful attribute since oxidants are a major factor that leads to faster aging in humans.
In addition, with the advent of the disease - Scurvy, characterized by weakening of collagenous structures, resulting in bleeding gums, poor wound healing, and impaired immunity.
an extensive search into its cause was initiated in part because individuals with scurvy had a higher chance of contracting potentially fatal infections such as pneumonia.
This search brought vitamin C and its health usefulness into limelight and as more studies were conducted.
it was evident that Vitamin C also contributed to proper immune function by supporting various aspects of both the innate and adaptive immune system via its immune-modulating activites.
So let us delve into this…..shall we???
Aging in humans and the role of Vitamin C plays
Has it ever occurred to you why humans age?
There are about three theories or would I say hypothesis that backs up aging in humans and one of it is the effect of oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is a state of the body that is produced as a result of an imbalance or inequilibrium between the rate of production of oxidants in the body system and the rate of production of endogenous antioxidants that will counter the effects of this oxidants in damaging cells of the body.
Simply put it this way, oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of oxidant and antioxidants, in which the oxidants level is higher than the antioxidants
Oxidants are produced in the body system due to some cellular physiologic activities.
They are by-products of metabolic breakdown of compounds like lipids or fats in the body.
Some of the examples of these oxidants include reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, superoxides and the most notorious biomarker is malondialdehyde, a product of lipid peroxidation.
Antioxidants on the other hand are those molecules that helps to eliminate or clear out oxidants in the system.
Depending on their source, they could be produced endogenously (within the body e.g, Superoxide dismutase, catalase, etc) or gotten from what we eat especially from fruits (vitamin C, vitamin E etc).
As we live and continue to age, oxidants such as radicals continue to build up in every part of the human body and most times in the brain, simultaneously the endogenous antioxidants help to clear some of these radicals but sometimes the rate of build-up is usually far greater than the clearing ability of the antioxidants thus favouring more oxidants accumulation.