Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and repair of tissues in the body; it forms an important protein to make skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It helps form scar tissue, heal wounds, and repair/maintain bones, teeth and cartilage. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that assists to block damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are formed from exposure to radiation or tobacco smoke, and when your body breaks down food. They are thought to play a role in heart disease, cancer and arthritis and are responsible for the majority of the aging process.
Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, left over amounts are excreted from the body. Thus, a continuous dietary supply is needed. Dietary sources include: citrus fruits, mango, kiwi fruit, pineapple, watermelon, berries, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and tomatoes. The best sources are uncooked/raw fruits and vegetables. Side effects from too much vitamin C are rare, but doses greater than 2000 milligrams a day may lead to diarrhea and stomach upset. Vitamin C deficiency may lead to anemia, easy bruising, dry skin, decreased ability to fight infection, and nosebleeds. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition, and offers comprehensive vitamin testing to her patients. Please contact the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.